U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


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Date of this Version



Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, 50, 1 (2018): 81–103, doi:10.1017/aae.2017.23.


© 2017 The Author(s). This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license.


Ecosystem stewardship is an important goal of crop production management. The developing question has been the feasibility and profitability of best management practices (BMPs) associated with stewardship goals. Treatment-effects empirical estimates show that soybean crop ecosystem stewardship is likely to benefit from precision agriculture’s (PA) information technologies to varying degrees. After accounting for the effect of overhead expenditures on technology adoption, and input costs on operating costs and profits, we show PA technologies also affect at least six BMPs. In one comprehensive framework, PA technologies affect profits, and improve crop production management through BMPs, with benefits for ecosystem stewardship.