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Abstract

This study developed an intertemporal profit function to determine optimal conservation adoption strategies under alternative scenarios with respect to crop prices, relative yields, discount rates, and other assumptions. Special emphasis was placed on determining from the analysis when the switchover from conventional to soil-conserving practices should take place. Technological change was incorporated by allowing crop yields to vary over time. Our analysis thus provides a new, more precise measurement of the cumulative net benefit differential. The optimal period for switchover from conventional to soil-conservating practices was found to vary depending on the assumptions made about corn prices and discount rates. Empirical results were based on an erosion damage function (EDF) for Western Kentucky corn production.

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