An Economic Analysis of the Potential 'Voluntary' Reductions of Nutrients from Agriculture to the Chesapeake Bay from the Shenandoah Soil and Water Conservation District, Virginia




Pindilli, Emily

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This study addresses the lack of an in-depth assessment of field-level costs for implementing agricultural best management practices (BMPs). An economic analysis of the potential contribution of `voluntary' reductions of nutrients from agricultural non-point sources of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay originating in the Shenandoah Soil and Water Conservation District (Shenandoah SWCD), Virginia was conducted. The research had three high level objectives: 1) to assess the heterogeneity in costs of implementing BMPs at the field-level; 2) to estimate the magnitude of potential nutrient reductions possible from agriculture in the Shenandoah SWCD, Virginia based on the field-level cost analysis and Virginia's trading program statutory requirements, ceteris paribus; and 3) to evaluate alternative scenarios of nutrient reduction based on the sensitivity of farmers to credit prices and allowable BMPs. The study considers the economic and physical factors associated with farms and builds on a vast base of literature on the physical aspects of non-point source pollution abatement.



Environmental science, Environmental economics, Public policy, Agricultural best management practices, Chesapeake Bay, Economics, Nonpoint source pollution, Nutrient trading, Water quality policy