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Environmental Conservation in Agriculture: Land Retirement versus Changing Practices on Working Land

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Abstract

The study develops a conceptual framework for analyzing the allocation of conservation funds via selectively offering incentive payments to farmers for enrolling in one of two mutually exclusive agricultural conservation programs: retiring land from production or changing farming practices on land that remains in production. We investigate how the existence of a pre-fixed budget allocation between the programs affects the amounts of environmental benefits obtainable under alternative policy implementation schemes. The framework is applied to a major agricultural production region using field-scale data in conjunction with empirical models of land retirement and conservation tillage adoption, and a biophysical process simulation model for the environmental benefits of carbon sequestration and reduction in soil erosion.

Suggested Citation

  • Hongli Feng & Lyubov A. Kurkalova & Catherine L. Kling & Philip W. Gassman, 2004. "Environmental Conservation in Agriculture: Land Retirement versus Changing Practices on Working Land," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 04-wp365, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ias:cpaper:04-wp365
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. GR Pautsch & LA Kurkalova & BA Babcock & CL Kling, 2001. "The Efficiency Of Sequestering Carbon In Agricultural Soils," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(2), pages 123-134, April.
    2. JunJie Wu, 2000. "Slippage Effects of the Conservation Reserve Program," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(4), pages 979-992.
    3. Antle, John & Capalbo, Susan & Mooney, Sian & Elliott, Edward & Paustian, Keith, 2003. "Spatial heterogeneity, contract design, and the efficiency of carbon sequestration policies for agriculture," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 231-250, September.
    4. Babcock, Bruce A. & Lakshminarayan, P. G. & Wu, J. & Zilberman, David, 1997. "Targeting Tools for the Purchase of Environmental Amenities," Staff General Research Papers Archive 5220, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cattaneo, Andrea, 2005. "Prescriptive use of Environmental Indices: A "How To" Guide for Conservation Programs," 2005 International Congress, August 23-27, 2005, Copenhagen, Denmark 24764, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Feng, Hongli & Kling, Catherine L. & Kurkalova, Lyubov A. & Secchi, Silvia & Gassman, Philip W., 2005. "Conservation Reserve Program in the Presence of a Working Land Alternative: Implications for Environmental Quality, Program Participation, and Income Transfer, The," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12411, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    3. Pendell, Dustin & Williams, Jeffery & Sweeney, Daniel & Nelson, Richard & Rice, Charles, 2006. "Economic Feasibility of Carbon Sequestration with Alternative Tillage Systems," Journal of the ASFMRA, American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.
    4. Feng, Hongli & Kling, Catherine L., 2005. "Consequences of Co-Benefits for the Efficient Design of Carbon Sequestration Programs, The," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12269, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    5. Feng, Hongli, 2005. "The dynamics of carbon sequestration and alternative carbon accounting, with an application to the upper Mississippi River Basin," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 23-35, July.
    6. Feng, Hongli & Kling, Catherine L. & Gassman, Philip W., 2004. "Carbon Sequestration, Co-Benefits, and Conservation Programs," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 19(3).
    7. Hongli Feng & Catherine L. Kling, 2005. "The Consequences of Cobenefits for the Efficient Design of Carbon Sequestration Programs," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 53(4), pages 461-476, December.
    8. Sergey S. Rabotyagov, 2010. "Ecosystem Services under Benefit and Cost Uncertainty: An Application to Soil Carbon Sequestration," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 86(4), pages 668-686.
    9. Williams, Jeffery R. & Pendell, Dustin L. & Sweeney, Daniel & Rice, Charles W. & Nelson, Richard G., 2006. "A Risk Analysis of Carbon Sequestration in Claypan Soil with Conservation Tillage Systems and Nitrogen Fertilizers for Grain Sorghum and Soybean," 2006 Annual Meeting, February 5-8, 2006, Orlando, Florida 35327, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    10. Feng, Hongli & Kling, Catherine L., 2005. "Carbon Sequestration in Agriculture: an Offset Program versus Other Conservation Programs," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19177, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

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