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The Use of Calculus to Determine Efficient Fertilizer Levels for Crop Production

2022

Abstract

For this project, I wanted to incorporate calculus into agriculture and environmental science methods. More in detail, the problem used asked for the maximum levels of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) that would be best for a current crop yield. This allowed incorporating partial derivatives, and critical points to find the maximum values for the equation. The results show that in order to demonstrate maximum crop yield production, the levels of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) were to be both at 2, with the correct corresponding units. The drawback from this problem is that although the problem showed effective nitrogen and phosphorus levels, it should be determined as to whether those levels, typically in synthetic fertilizers, are more, less, or equal to the suggested amount per bushel. Adding excess nutrients onto a crop can result in nutrient in our waterways due to surface water runoff. The overall purpose would be a moral question for the farmer: Does the farmer add the levels of N and P for the maximum crop yield success, regardless of it being more than the suggested bushel amount?

COinS