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Nitrogen in Agricultural Systems: Implications for Conservation Policy

Author

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  • Ribaudo, Marc
  • Delgado, Jorge
  • Hansen, LeRoy T.
  • Livingston, Michael J.
  • Mosheim, Roberto
  • Williamson, James M.

Abstract

Nitrogen is an important agricultural input that is critical for crop production. However, the introduction of large amounts of nitrogen into the environment has a number of undesirable impacts on water, terrestrial, and atmospheric resources. This report explores the use of nitrogen in U.S. agriculture and assesses changes in nutrient management by farmers that may improve nitrogen use effi ciency. It also reviews a number of policy approaches for improving nitrogen management and identifi es issues affecting their potential performance. Findings reveal that about two-thirds of U.S. cropland is not meeting three criteria for good nitrogen management. Several policy approaches, including fi nancial incentives, nitrogen management as a condition of farm program eligibility, and regulation, could induce farmers to improve their nitrogen management and reduce nitrogen losses to the environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Ribaudo, Marc & Delgado, Jorge & Hansen, LeRoy T. & Livingston, Michael J. & Mosheim, Roberto & Williamson, James M., 2011. "Nitrogen in Agricultural Systems: Implications for Conservation Policy," Economic Research Report 118022, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uersrr:118022
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/118022
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Babcock, Bruce A., 1992. "Effects of Uncertainty on Optimal Nitrogen Applications (The)," Staff General Research Papers Archive 10588, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    3. Lars Gårn Hansen, 2004. "Nitrogen Fertilizer Demand from Danish Crop Farms: Regulatory Implications of Heterogeneity," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 52(3), pages 313-331, November.
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    2. Buzby, Jean C. & Farah-Wells, Hodan & Hyman, Jeffrey, 2014. "The Estimated Amount, Value, and Calories of Postharvest Food Losses at the Retail and Consumer Levels in the United States," Economic Information Bulletin 164262, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Agarwal, Sandip & Jacobs, Keri L. & Weninger, Quinn, 2016. "Unfolding the Bias in Farm Nitrogen Management," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 237380, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Debnath, Deepayan & Stoecker, Arthur L. & Epplin, Francis M., 2013. "Impact of Environmental Values on the Breakeven Price of Switchgrass," 2013 Annual Meeting, February 2-5, 2013, Orlando, Florida 142563, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    5. Robert Corry, 2014. "Landscapes of Intersecting Trade and Environmental Policies: Intensive Canadian and American Farmlands," Landscape Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(2), pages 107-122, April.
    6. Sung, Jae-hoon & Miranowski, John A., 2016. "Information technologies and field-level chemical use for corn production," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235858, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    7. Moon, Jin-Young & Apland, Jeffrey & Folle, Solomon & Mulla, David J., 2012. "Environmental Impacts of Cellulosic Feedstock Production: A Case Study of a Cornbelt Aquifer," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 125016, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
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    10. Jaynes, D.B., 2013. "Nitrate loss in subsurface drainage and corn yield as affected by timing of sidedress nitrogen," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 52-60.
    11. Shane, Agabu & Gheewala, Shabbir H. & Kafwembe, Young, 2017. "Urban commercial biogas power plant model for Zambian towns," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 1-14.
    12. McCann, Laura, 2013. "Transaction costs and environmental policy design," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 253-262.
    13. Ribaudo, Marc & Savage, Jeffrey & Aillery, Marcel P., 2014. "An Economic Assessment of Policy Options To Reduce Agricultural Pollutants in the Chesapeake Bay," Economic Research Report 171880, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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    15. Ali, Sarah & McCann, Laura M.J. & Allspach, Jessica, 2012. "Manure Transfers in the Midwest and Factors Affecting Adoption of Manure Testing," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 44(04), November.
    16. Hansen, LeRoy & Hellerstein, Daniel & Ribaudo, Marc & Williamson, James & Nulph, David & Loesch, Charles & Crumpton, William, 2015. "Targeting Investments To Cost Effectively Restore and Protect Wetland Ecosystems: Some Economic Insights," Economic Research Report 199283, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Reactive nitrogen; nitrogen management; fertilizer; water quality; greenhouse gas; economic incentives; conservation policy; regulation; Environmental Economics and Policy; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

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