An aggregate economic analysis of potential erosion and plant nutrient controls in the Corn Belt
Taylor, C.R.; Frohberg, K.K.; Seitz, W.D.
An aggregate economic analysis of potential erosion and plant nutrient controls in the Corn Belt: 25-45
This study indicates that reasonable soil erosion control programs can be implemented without having serious economic impacts on the agricultural sector or on consumer expenditure)l If however, the high soil loss coefficients are accurate, and if a stringent soil loss restriction such as a 2-ton-per-year limit were adopted, the economic impacts would be serious. Serious economic impacts would also be generated by tight controls on nitrogen use. Contrary to popular belief, the economic burden of the restriction falls more on consumers than on producers for many of the controls considered. This occurs because the model includes demand and supply functions for the major crops, allowing impacts of controls to be translated into higher prices generating higher gross receipts at the farm level. The higher receipts help offset or, in some cases, more than offset the higher production costs or lower yields associated with controls. Such results will not be demonstrated by a model limited to fixed commodity prices. Two sets of soil loss coefficients were used in the study. One set was supplied by the Federal Soil Conservation Service, while the other set was supplied by Illinois Soil Conservation Service personnel. It appears that the two sets of coefficients bracket actual soil losses. To obtain more precise estimates of the economic impacts of non-point pollution controls, precise estimates of soil loss coefficients must be obtained.