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Abstract

Vegetative buffers, if established around riparian areas, represent a type of beneficial management practice (BMP) that provide ecological goods and services in the form of improved water quality, improved wildlife/waterfowl habitat, etc. Establishing these buffers result in reduced area for agricultural production, with corresponding opportunity costs. This study builds on previous work from AAFC's Watershed Evaluation of Beneficial Management Practices (WEBs) project, to examine the direct farm-level economics of vegetative buffers for a representative mixed farm operation in the Lower Little Bow watershed. Simulation results suggest that the opportunity cost associated with vegetative buffers varies with buffer width, but can be as great as $600 per acre converted. The cost per acre varies inversely with the width of the buffer.

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