Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 9, Issue 3&4,2011
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Excessive fertiliser input in farmer-level soybean production: Evidence from the measurements of technical efficiency in Suihua City, China


Yongfu Chen 1*, Beibei Wu 1, Jing Zhao 2

Recieved Date: 2011-07-10, Accepted Date: 2011-09-30


Soybean production in China is affected by low yield per hectare caused by technical inefficiency in production inputs. This paper measures impact of excessive fertiliser input on soybean production utilizing a stochastic frontier production function model and a data envelopment analysis method to estimate technical efficiency and scale factors in farmer-level soybean production. The data are culled from the October 2008 questionnaire results from soybean production farmers, wherein a field survey is conducted in the four towns of Jinhe, Sanjing, Xingfu and Dongjin in the Beilin District of Suihua City, Heilongjiang Province. The timeframe covered is three consecutive years from 2005 to 2007. The paper also examines problems related to excessive fertiliser input. Results indicate the presence of certain technical and scale efficiency losses in soybean production, severe technical efficiency loss in fertiliser input and output per unit, and excessive fertiliser input per hectare. Results also reveal that farmers should decrease their fertiliser input by 33% per hectare to optimise the proportion of inputs. The geographical conditions of the different regions, farmers’ soybean cultivation areas and their cultivation histories also have certain impacts on technical efficiency. The study provides important information that the technical misunderstanding of the application of fertilisers that “the more fertiliser, the more yield” during the fertilising process can be avoided and the farmers’ soybean production efficiency can be effectively improved if they can obtain training on fertiliser use and technical supports from public extension system. Furthermore, expanding the area of cultivation of soybean farmers can also effectively reduce the scale efficiency loss.


Fertilizer input, soybean production, SFP model, DEA approach, technical efficiency

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2011
Volume: 9
Issue: 3&4
Category: Agriculture
Pages: 230-235

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