Farmers as Producers of Clean Water: Getting Incentive Payments Right and Encouraging Farmer Participation
This research involved a field experiment using watershed payments as an incentive for farmers to address agricultural non-point pollution (ANP). Objectives were to: (1) describe how payments were estimated for a field experiment; (2) explain why a team approach is needed for ANP; (3) discuss the essential elements used for recruitment of farmers into a field experiment setting; and (4) address whether or not farmers were motivated to participate and pursue ANP abatement. One year into the experiment, the results are encouraging. About one-half of farmers who attended meetings are participating. They own or operate approximately 41% of the agricultural land in the watershed. Farmer actions to date have included determining an allocation formula for the payment, requesting watershed wide sampling, and cost sharing of ANP abatement.
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