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An Analysis of the Role of Tile-Drained Farmland Under Alternative Nitrogen Abatement Policies


  • Petrolia, Daniel R.
  • Gowda, Prasanna H.


Agricultural nitrogen is a major contributor to Gulf of Mexico hypoxia, and research has shown that agricultural subsurface tile drainage is a major carrier of nitrogen from croplands to streams and rivers. This study compares the results of abating nitrogen under a retired-land minimization policy with those of a new revenue-maximizing policy, paying particular attention to the role of tile-drained land. Findings reveal the retirement-minimizing policy resulted in more tile-drained land being retired and less being fertilizer-managed than was optimal under the net-return maximizing policy. Also, it led to a greater economic burden being shouldered by tile-drained land. Under both cases, tile drainage dominated the abatement process.

Suggested Citation

  • Petrolia, Daniel R. & Gowda, Prasanna H., 2006. "An Analysis of the Role of Tile-Drained Farmland Under Alternative Nitrogen Abatement Policies," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 31(03), December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:jlaare:8621

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:oup:revage:v:28:y:2006:i:2:p:240-253. is not listed on IDEAS
    2. JunJie Wu & Bruce A. Babcock & P. G. Lakshminarayan, 1996. "Impacts of Agricultural Practices and Policies on Potential Nitrate Water Pollution in the Midwest and Northern Plains of the United States," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 96-wp148, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    3. Daniel R. Petrolia & Prasanna H. Gowda, 2006. "Missing the Boat: Midwest Farm Drainage and Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 28(2), pages 240-253.
    4. Ribaudo, Marc O. & Heimlich, Ralph & Claassen, Roger & Peters, Mark, 2001. "Least-cost management of nonpoint source pollution: source reduction versus interception strategies for controlling nitrogen loss in the Mississippi Basin," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 183-197, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Smith, Craig M. & Williams, Jeffrey R. & Nejadhashemi, Amirpouyan & Woznicki, Sean A. & Leatherman, John C., 2014. "Cost-Effective Targeting for Reducing Soil Erosion in a Large Agricultural Watershed," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 46(04), November.


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