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Spatial Targeting of Conservation Tillage to Improve Water Quality and Carbon Retention Benefits


  • Wanhong Yang
  • Chaodong Sheng
  • Paul Voroney


"This paper develops a GIS-based modeling framework that integrates a farm model, a hydrologic model, and a soil organic matter model to examine spatial targeting of conservation tillage to jointly improve water quality and carbon retention benefits in agricultural watersheds. Previous studies have examined the targeting of conservation tillage, land retirement, and riparian buffers at watershed scale to achieve water quality benefits but not considered carbon retention benefits. An empirical application of the framework in the Fairchild Creek watershed in Ontario shows that targeting conservation tillage based on sediment abatement goal can also achieve comparable carbon retention benefits in terms of percentage reduction of its base carbon losses. The targeted subcatchments for conservation tillage vary across the watershed based on benefit to cost ratios. The pattern of conservation tillage targeted based on carbon retention goal is similar to that with a sediment abatement goal but slight differences are found because of different carbon content in the soils. The modeling results have important policy implications for the design of conservation stewardship programs such as setting sediment abatement goal as an indicator to achieve joint environmental benefits and direct public fund to locations that can achieve environmental goals at least costs." Copyright 2005 Canadian Agricultural Economics Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Wanhong Yang & Chaodong Sheng & Paul Voroney, 2005. "Spatial Targeting of Conservation Tillage to Improve Water Quality and Carbon Retention Benefits," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 53(4), pages 477-500, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:canjag:v:53:y:2005:i:4:p:477-500

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Butt, Tanveer A. & McCarl, Bruce A., 2004. "Farm and Forest Carbon Sequestration: Can Producers Employ it to Make Some Money?," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 19(3).
    2. Feng, Hongli & Zhao, Jinhua & Kling, Catherine L., 2002. "Time Path and Implementation of Carbon Sequestration (The)," Staff General Research Papers Archive 5068, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    3. Hongli Feng & Lyubov A. Kurkalova & Catherine L. Kling & Philip W. Gassman, 2004. "Environmental Conservation in Agriculture: Land Retirement versus Changing Practices on Working Land," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 04-wp365, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
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    Cited by:

    1. Balana, Bedru Babulo & Vinten, Andy & Slee, Bill, 2011. "A review on cost-effectiveness analysis of agri-environmental measures related to the EU WFD: Key issues, methods, and applications," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(6), pages 1021-1031, April.
    2. Yang, Wanhong & Bryan, Brett A. & MacDonald, Darla Hatton & Ward, John R. & Wells, Geoff & Crossman, Neville D. & Connor, Jeffrey D., 2010. "A conservation industry for sustaining natural capital and ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(4), pages 680-689, February.
    3. Boxall, Peter C. & Weber, Marian & Perger, Orsolya & Cutlac, Marius & Samarawickrema, Antony, 2008. "Results from the Farm Behaviour Component of the Integrated Economic-Hydrologic Model for the Watershed Evaluation of Beneficial Management Practices Program," Project Report Series 116268, University of Alberta, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology.
    4. Sean Woznicki & A. Nejadhashemi, 2013. "Spatial and Temporal Variabilities of Sediment Delivery Ratio," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 27(7), pages 2483-2499, May.

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