Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Wildland Resources

Department name when degree awarded

Range Science

Committee Chair(s)

John P. Workman


John P. Workman


Darwin B. Nielsen


John C. Malechek


Previous research has shown that rangeland forage production can be increased through fertilization. A study was conducted to determine if fertilization of various Utah range sites was economically feasible. Six range sites were selected for analysis. The addition of nitrogen increased forage production on three sites. Phosphorus had no effect in increasing production. Production functions of the form, Y = a + bN - cN2 , where Y is pounds of forage per acre and N is pounds of nitrogen per acre, were estimated for both fall and spring applications. Using current prices of Y and N the optimum rates of fertilization for maximum profit were determined. By comparing the profit per acre for fall and spring applications the most effective season of application was determined. On an irrigated tall wheatgrass (Agropyron elongatum) pasture the fall application was most profitable and the optimum rate of N was 215 lbs. / ac (assuming PN = $ .1207/lb. and PY = $ . 0073/lb.). On an intermediate wheatgrass (Agropyron intermedium) foothill site, fall was the most profitable season of application and 127 lbs. / ac of N was the optimum rate. On a crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) site (average precipitation of 11 to 12 inches) only the spring application was analyzed and the most profitable rate of application was 7 lbs. N / ac. The optimum rates of N were determined for various prices of nitrogen and forage in a sensitivity analysis.



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