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Reducing Nutrient Application Rates For Water Quality Protection In Intensive Livestock Areas: Policy Implications Of Alternative Producer Behavior

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  • McSweeny, William T.
  • Shortle, James S.

Abstract

High rates of commercial fertilizer and animal manure application on cropland have been identified as an important cause of ground and surface water degradation in many areas of the country. Suggested remedies are often based on the idea that fertilization levels are economically irrational for the individual farmer. The received wisdom is that farmers could simultaneously improve their own economic well being and reduce the degradation of the ground and surface waters by fertilizing only to meet crop nutrient needs. Rather than assuming that farmers act irrationally, this study examines the fertilization problem on a mixed crop-livestock farm from the perspective of a risk-averse farmer coping with two key uncertainties: crop yield response to nitrogen applications and the nitrogen content of manure. The effects of fertilization decisions by such a farmer of various policy prescriptions for reducing surface and ground water pollution are examined. The results underscore the importance of understand producer behavior for the design of economically sound policy.

Suggested Citation

  • McSweeny, William T. & Shortle, James S., 1989. "Reducing Nutrient Application Rates For Water Quality Protection In Intensive Livestock Areas: Policy Implications Of Alternative Producer Behavior," Northeastern Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 18(1), April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:nejare:28805
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/28805
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bohm, Peter & Russell, Clifford S., 1985. "Comparative analysis of alternative policy instruments," Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics,in: A. V. Kneeseā€  & J. L. Sweeney (ed.), Handbook of Natural Resource and Energy Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 395-460 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Huang, Wen-Yuan & Christensen, Lee A., 2003. "Economic Impacts Of Epa'S Manure Application Regulations On Dairy Farms In The Southwest Region," 2003 Annual Meeting, February 1-5, 2003, Mobile, Alabama 35109, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    2. Huang, Wen-Yuan & Magleby, Richard S. & Christensen, Lee A., 2005. "Economic Impacts of EPA's Manure Application Regulations on Dairy Farms with Lagoon Liquid Systems in the Southwest Region," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 37(01), April.
    3. Stonehouse, D. P. & de Vos, G. W. & Weersink, A., 2002. "Livestock manure systems for swine finishing enterprises," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 279-296, September.
    4. Fox, Glenn & Weersink, Alfons & Sarwar, Ghulam & Duff, Scott & Deen, Bill, 1991. "Comparative Economics Of Alternative Agricultural Production Systems: A Review," Northeastern Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 20(1), April.

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