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A Nationwide Comparison of Farmland Conservation Easement Valuation

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Author Info

  • Yuan, Yuan
  • Boyle, Kevin J.
  • You, Wen
  • Fuller, Harry M.

Abstract

Farmland loss is considered a serious problem by the public, and it is in part addressed by government initiatives to preserve farmland through the use of conservation easement programs. In order to prioritize which tracts are protected with these programs, it is important to understand and measure the non-market benefits of agricultural land. The contribution of this work is to provide national-level estimates of benefits as well as examine the possibility of geographic heterogeneity in preferences across states. This study uses choice experiment data on farmland attributes in the US, Georgia, Ohio and Maine. Sample selection was tested for and rejected. A random parameters logit model was estimated and significant preference heterogeneity was confirmed. This result indicates that although some variables may seem insignificant, they may actually be important to many individuals, but those individuals simply don’t agree on the value of those attributes. Consequently, a broad-based funding mechanism such as taxes may be less popular than more targeted mechanisms. After testing for scale and parameter equality, it was found that the US and Maine had different underlying parameters, which indicates that federal-level policy may be inappropriate, as some states may have different preferences for which farmland attributes should be prioritized.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington with number 124836.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea12:124836

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Keywords: Agricultural Finance;

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  1. Kevin Boyle & Semra Özdemir, 2009. "Convergent Validity of Attribute-Based, Choice Questions in Stated-Preference Studies," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(2), pages 247-264, February.
  2. Duke, Joshua M. & Ilvento, Thomas W., 2004. "A Conjoint Analysis of Public Preferences for Agricultural Land Preservation," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 33(2), October.
  3. Nickerson, Cynthia J. & Hellerstein, Daniel, 2003. "Protecting Rural Amenities Through Farmland Preservation Programs," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 32(1), April.
  4. Halstead, John M., 1984. "Measuring the Nonmarket Value of Massachusetts Agricultural Land: A Case Study," Northeastern Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 13(1:), April.
  5. Moon, Wanki & Griffith, Jacob Wayne, 2011. "Assessing holistic economic value for multifunctional agriculture in the US," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 455-465, August.
  6. Robert J. Johnston & Joshua M. Duke, 2007. "Willingness to Pay for Agricultural Land Preservation and Policy Process Attributes: Does the Method Matter?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 89(4), pages 1098-1115.
  7. Robert J. Johnston & Joshua M. Duke, 2009. "Willingness to Pay for Land Preservation across States and Jurisdictional Scale: Implications for Benefit Transfer," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 85(2), pages 217-237.
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