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Soil Carbon Sequestration Strategies with Alternative Tillage and Nitrogen Sources under Risk


  • Dustin L. Pendell
  • Jeffery R. Williams
  • Scott B. Boyles
  • Charles W. Rice
  • Richard G. Nelson


This study examines the economic potential of using either no-tillage or conventional tillage with either commercial nitrogen or cattle manure to sequester soil in continuous corn production. This research uses stochastic efficiency with respect to a function to determine the preferred production systems under various risk preferences and utility-weighted certainty equivalent risk premiums to determine the carbon credit values needed to motivate adoption of systems, which sequester higher levels of carbon. The results indicate that no-tillage and cattle manure increase carbon sequestration. Carbon credits or government program incentives are not required to entice risk-averse managers to use no-tillage, but are required to encourage manure use as a means of sequestering additional carbon even at historically high nitrogen prices. New environmental rules for confined animal feeding operations may increase the demand for land to apply manure as a primary nutrient source and participation in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Security Program, and a carbon credit market to obtain payments to offset some or all of the costs of manure application. Copyright 2007, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Dustin L. Pendell & Jeffery R. Williams & Scott B. Boyles & Charles W. Rice & Richard G. Nelson, 2007. "Soil Carbon Sequestration Strategies with Alternative Tillage and Nitrogen Sources under Risk," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 29(2), pages 247-268.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:revage:v:29:y:2007:i:2:p:247-268

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Richardson, James W. & Klose, Steven L. & Gray, Allan W., 2000. "An Applied Procedure For Estimating And Simulating Multivariate Empirical (Mve) Probability Distributions In Farm-Level Risk Assessment And Policy Analysis," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 32(02), August.
    2. Bruce A. McCarl & David A. Bessler, 1989. "Estimating An Upper Bound On The Pratt Risk A Version Coefficient When The Utility Function Is Unknown," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 33(1), pages 56-63, April.
    3. Ribaudo, Marc & Kaplan, Jonathan D. & Christensen, Lee A. & Gollehon, Noel R. & Johansson, Robert C. & Breneman, Vincent E. & Aillery, Marcel P. & Agapoff, Jean & Peters, Mark, 2003. "Manure Management For Water Quality Costs To Animal Feeding Operations Of Applying Manure Nutrients To Land," Agricultural Economics Reports 33911, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    4. Douglas J. Miller, 1999. "An Econometric Analysis of the Costs of Sequestering Carbon in Forests," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(4), pages 812-824.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kragt, Marit E. & Pannell, David J. & Robertson, Michael J. & Thamo, Tas, 2012. "Assessing costs of soil carbon sequestration by crop-livestock farmers in Western Australia," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 27-37.
    2. Galati, Antonino & Crescimanno, Maria & Gristina, Luciano & Keesstra, Saskia & Novara, Agata, 2016. "Actual provision as an alternative criterion to improve the efficiency of payments for ecosystem services for C sequestration in semiarid vineyards," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 58-64.
    3. Eihab Fathelrahman & Aydin Basarir & Mohamed Gheblawi & Sherin Sherif & James Ascough, 2014. "Economic Risk and Efficiency Assessment of Fisheries in Abu-Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE): A Stochastic Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(6), pages 1-21, June.
    4. Watkins, K. Bradley & Hignight, Jeffrey A. & Anders, Merle M., 2009. "Assessing the Impacts of Soil Carbon Credits and Risk on No-Till Rice Profitability," 2009 Annual Meeting, January 31-February 3, 2009, Atlanta, Georgia 45806, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    5. repec:gam:jsusta:v:8:y:2016:i:4:p:338:d:67690 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Williams, Jeffery R. & Pachta, Matthew J. & Roozeboom, Kraig L. & Llewelyn, Richard V. & Claassen, Mark M. & Bergtold, Jason S., 2012. "Risk Analysis of Tillage and Crop Rotation Alternatives with Winter Wheat," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 44(04), pages 561-576, November.
    7. Mireille Chiroleu-Assouline & Sebastien Roussel, 2014. "Payments for Carbon Sequestration in Agricultural Soils: Incentives for the Future and Rewards for the Past," CEEES Paper Series CE3S-01/14, European University at St. Petersburg, Department of Economics.
    8. Lyman, Nathaniel & Nalley, Lawton Lanier, 2013. "Stochastic Valuation of Hybrid Rice Technology in Arkansas," 2013 Annual Meeting, February 2-5, 2013, Orlando, Florida 142505, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    9. Nickerson, Cynthia J. & Ribaudo, Marc & Higgins, Nathaniel, 2010. "The Farm Act's Regional Equity Provision: Impacts on Conservation Program Outcomes," Economic Research Report 95452, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    10. Kragt, Marit Ellen & Pannell, David J. & Robertson, Michael J., 2011. "Easy winnings? The economics of carbon sequestration in agricultural soils," 2011 Conference (55th), February 8-11, 2011, Melbourne, Australia 100575, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    11. Angelos Liontakis & Irene Tzouramani, 2016. "Economic Sustainability of Organic Aloe Vera Farming in Greece under Risk and Uncertainty," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(4), pages 1-13, April.
    12. Gandorfer, Markus & Pannell, David & Meyer-Aurich, Andreas, 2011. "Analyzing the effects of risk and uncertainty on optimal tillage and nitrogen fertilizer intensity for field crops in Germany," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 104(8), pages 615-622, October.
    13. Williams, Jeffery R. & Pachta, Matthew J. & Claassen, Mark & Roozeboom, Kraig & Llewelyn, Richard, 2011. "Wheat Stubble To Burn or Not to Burn: An Economic Analysis," Western Economics Forum, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 10(01).
    14. Williams, Jeffery R. & Llewelyn, Richard V. & Pendell, Dustin L. & Schlegel, Alan J. & Troy, Dumler, 2009. "A Risk Analysis of Converting CRP Acres to a Wheat-Sorghum-Fallow Rotation," 2009 Annual Meeting, January 31-February 3, 2009, Atlanta, Georgia 45985, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    15. Eihab M. Fathelrahman & James C. Ascough II & Dana L. Hoag & Robert W. Malone & Philip Heilman & Lori J. Wiles & Ramesh S. Kanwar, 2011. "Continuum of Risk Analysis Methods to Assess Tillage System Sustainability at the Experimental Plot Level," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(7), pages 1-29, July.

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