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A Portfolio Of Nutrients: Soil And Sustainability


  • Bond, Craig A.
  • Farzin, Y. Hossein


This paper develops a basic dynamic economic model that can be used for theoretical and numerical analysis of optimal soil management practices. A dynamic biophysical/economic optimal control model is developed in a multi-disciplinary framework, treating soil as a multi-pool portfolio of a particular limiting mobile nutrient (e.g. nitrogen). This specification allows for fertilizer to directly enter the active pool, while tillage initially affects the decadal pool, reflecting the realities of agricultural production. We examine the properties of the steady-state and the time paths of the optimal solutions. In addition, alternative sustainability criteria of farm-level agricultural practices are presented, and the optimal solution of the problem is evaluated to determine if it meets any or all of the definitions of sustainability.

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  • Bond, Craig A. & Farzin, Y. Hossein, 2004. "A Portfolio Of Nutrients: Soil And Sustainability," 2004 Annual meeting, August 1-4, Denver, CO 20035, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea04:20035

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    1. LaFrance, Jeffrey T., 1992. "Do Increased Commodity Prices Lead To More Or Less Soil Degradation?," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 36(01), April.
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    3. Hartwick, John M, 1977. "Intergenerational Equity and the Investing of Rents from Exhaustible Resources," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 972-974, December.
    4. Grepperud, S., 1997. "Soil conservation as an investment in land," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 455-467, December.
    5. Richter, O. & Seppelt, R., 1996. "Quantitative aspects of sustainable agriculture," Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (MATCOM), Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 263-269.
    6. Hoag, Dana L., 1998. "The intertemporal impact of soil erosion on non-uniform soil profiles: A new direction in analyzing erosion impacts," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 415-429, April.
    7. John C. V. Pezzey, 1997. "Sustainability Constraints versus "Optimality" versus Intertemporal Concern, and Axioms versus Data," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 73(4), pages 448-466.
    8. Y. Hossein Farzin, 2004. "Is an Exhaustible Resource Economy Sustainable?," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(1), pages 33-46, February.
    9. Farzin, Y H & Tahvonen, O, 1996. "Global Carbon Cycle and the Optimal Time Path of a Carbon Tax," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(4), pages 515-536, October.
    10. Barrett, Scott, 1991. "Optimal soil conservation and the reform of agricultural pricing policies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 167-187, October.
    11. Caputo,Michael R., 2005. "Foundations of Dynamic Economic Analysis," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521842723, March.
    12. Renan U. Goetz, 1997. "Diversification in Agricultural Production: A Dynamic Model of Optimal Cropping to Manage Soil Erosion," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 341-356.
    13. Brekke, Kjell Arne & Iversen, Vegard & Aune, Jens B., 1999. "Tanzania's soil wealth," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 4(03), pages 333-356, July.
    14. Solow, Robert M, 1974. "The Economics of Resources or the Resources of Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 1-14, May.
    15. Solow, Robert M, 1986. " On the Intergenerational Allocation of Natural Resources," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 88(1), pages 141-149.
    16. Krautkraemer, Jeffrey A., 1994. "Population growth, soil fertility, and agricultural intensification," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 403-428, August.
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