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Adoption Of Soil Conservation Practices: A Revealed Preference Approach

Listed author(s):
  • Lichtenberg, Erik

The existing empirical literature on farmers' use of soil-conserving, runoff-reducing farming practices, while sizable, contains relatively little information on the influence of cost on adoption decisions and on how farmers combine multiple practices into an overall conservation package. Such knowledge is important in light of current interest in reorienting agricultural policy toward environmental and resource conservation goals. This paper uses farmer survey data combined with information on standard unit costs of installing seven soil-conserving, runoff-reducing practices obtained from a state cost sharing program to estimate latent demand models for each of these seven practices. All seven exhibit downward sloping demand. Topographical variations in adoption conform to expectations as well. The estimation results suggest that cost sharing should have substantial effects on the adoption of four practices. They also indicate strong complementarity among four others. The results are then used to derive implications for the design and implementation of cost sharing programs, which have been the principal policy used to address nonpoint source water pollution problems emanating from agriculture.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/28609
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Paper provided by University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics in its series Working Papers with number 28609.

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Date of creation: 2001
Handle: RePEc:ags:umdrwp:28609
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  1. Meredith J. Soule & Abebayehu Tegene & Keith D. Wiebe, 2000. "Land Tenure and the Adoption of Conservation Practices," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(4), pages 993-1005.
  2. Gary D. Lynne & J. S. Shonkwiler & Leandro R. Rola, 1988. "Attitudes and Farmer Conservation Behavior," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 70(1), pages 12-19.
  3. Norris, Patricia E. & Batie, Sandra S., 1987. "Virginia Farmers' Soil Conservation Decisions: An Application Of Tobit Analysis," Southern Journal of Agricultural Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 19(01), July.
  4. Norris, Patricia E. & Batie, Sandra S., 1987. "Virginia Farmers' Soil Conservation Decisions: An Application of Tobit Analysis," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(01), pages 79-90, July.
  5. Joseph C. Cooper & Russ W. Keim, 1996. "Incentive Payments to Encourage Farmer Adoption of Water Quality Protection Practices," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 78(1), pages 54-64.
  6. Christine A. Ervin & David E. Ervin, 1982. "Factors Affecting the Use of Soil Conservation Practices: Hypotheses, Evidence, and Policy Implications," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 58(3), pages 277-292.
  7. Robert D. Weaver, 1996. "Prosocial Behavior: Private Contributions to Agriculture's Impact on the Environment," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(2), pages 231-247.
  8. Feather, Peter M. & Amacher, Gregory S., 1994. "Role of information in the adoption of best management practices for water quality improvement," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 11(2-3), pages 159-170, December.
  9. Michael R. Rahm & Wallace E. Huffman, 1984. "The Adoption of Reduced Tillage: The Role of Human Capital and Other Variables," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 66(4), pages 405-413.
  10. Luanne Lohr & Timothy A. Park, 1995. "Utility-Consistent Discrete-Continuous Choices in Soil Conservation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 71(4), pages 474-490.
  11. Cooper, Joseph C., 1997. "Combining Actual And Contingent Behavior Data To Model Farmer Adoption Of Water Quality Protection Practices," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 22(01), July.
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