Policies to reduce nitrate leaching are evaluated using a mixed integer linear programming model of a representative Michigan cash grain farm. At spring 1993 prices, elimination of the current deficiency payment program is found to be more efficient at reducing leaching than a nitrogen input tax, a tax credit on biologically fixed nitrogen, a rotation payment, or obligatory use of the Integrated Farm Management Program Option (IFMPO). However, elimination of the deficiency payment program would significantly reduce farm income. Modeling risk management and nitrate leaching dynamics are useful extensions of this research, as is estimating the benefits from averting nitrate leaching.


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