AGEN 2363 notes.  Chpt. 18.  Economics of Soil and Water Conservation


I. Benefits of soil and water conservation.

            1. Crop yields: maintaining the land’s ‘production potential’

            2. Wildlife

            3. Flooding

            4. Recreation

            5. Land values

            6. Health

            7. Future economic stability

            8. Energy conservation using conservation/no-till practices

            9. Retaining economic value of ‘topsoil’: topsoil is more valuable than stream sediment!


II. Economic costs of soil and water conservation practices.

    A. Direct costs (Table 18-4)

            1. Practices with net short-term profit results:           

                a. Good agronomic practices: adapted varieties, sound soil fertility program, etc

                b. Conservation tillage effects on water efficiency, nutrient efficiency, etc.


            2. Practices with indirect costs but little or no direct cost

                Land retirement, rotations, strip cropping, cover cropping


            3. Practices with large direct costs:

                Land leveling, terrace construction, water control devices, conservation/no-till

                equipment, land reclamation, etc.


   B. Indirect costs.

            Land taken out of production for vegetated waterways, filter strips, etc.

            Weed problem shifts, insect pest shifts, delayed planting, etc




III. Paying for soil and water conservation.

            1. Land owners and operators.

            2. Land owners and operators cooperatives.

            3. Government: local, state, federal cost share programs.

            4. Private: DU, private non-profit conservation associations, etc.


IV. Incentive programs.

            1. CRP, WRP, EQUIP, etc.

            2. Purposes: