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Nitrogen in Agricultural Systems: Implications for Conservation Policy

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

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.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/118022
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Paper provided by United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service in its series Economic Research Report with number 118022.

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Date of creation: Sep 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ags:uersrr:118022
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  1. Gollehon, Noel R. & Caswell, Margriet & Ribaudo, Marc & Kellogg, Robert L. & Lander, Charles & Letson, David, 2000. "Confined Animal Production And Manure Nutrients," 2000 Annual Meeting, June 29-July 1, 2000, Vancouver, British Columbia 36382, Western Agricultural Economics Association.
  2. Clark P. Bishop & C. Richard Shumway & Philip R. Wandschneider, 2010. "Agent Heterogeneity in Adoption of Anaerobic Digestion Technology: Integrating Economic, Diffusion, and Behavioral Innovation Theories," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 86(3).
  3. Cooper, Joseph C. & Keim, Russ, 1996. "Incentive payments to encourage farmer adoption of water quality protection practices," MPRA Paper 24779, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Hayley H. Chouinard & Tobias Paterson & Philip R. Wandschneider & Adrienne M. Ohler, 2008. "Will Farmers Trade Profits for Stewardship? Heterogeneous Motivations for Farm Practice Selection," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 84(1), pages 66-82.
  5. Claassen, Roger & Breneman, Vincent E. & Bucholtz, Shawn & Cattaneo, Andrea & Johansson, Robert C. & Morehart, Mitchell J., 2004. "Environmental Compliance In U.S. Agricultural Policy: Past Performance And Future Potential," Agricultural Economics Reports 34033, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  6. Hansen, Lars Gårn, 2004. "Nitrogen Fertilizer Demand from Danish Crop Farms - Regulatory Implications of Farm Heterogeneity," MPRA Paper 48366, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Ghosh, Gaurav & Ribaudo, Marc & Shortle, James, 2009. "Do Baseline Requirements Hinder Trades in Water Quality Programs?," FCN Working Papers 11/2009, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
  8. Babcock, Bruce A., 1992. "Effects of Uncertainty on Optimal Nitrogen Applications (The)," Staff General Research Papers 10588, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  9. Babcock, Bruce A. & Blackmer, A. M., 1992. "Value of Reducing Temporal Input Nonuniformities (The)," Staff General Research Papers 10587, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  10. Lichtenberg, Erik, 2004. "Cost-Responsiveness of Conservation Practice Adoption: A Revealed Preference Approach," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 29(03), December.
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