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Abstract

With the Waxman-Markey Bill passing the House and the Obama administration’s push to reduce carbon emissions, the likelihood of the implementation of some form of a carbon policy is increasing. This study estimates the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the six largest crops produced in Arkansas using 63 different production practices as documented by University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service. From these GHG estimates a baseline state “carbon footprint” was estimated and a hypothetical cap-and-trade carbon reduction of 5, 10, and 20% was levied on Arkansas agriculture. Results show that while a modest reduction in GHG emissions (5%) would only affect crop allocations amongst certain crops while marginally reducing state net returns, a 20% reduction would cause major cropping pattern shifts with some traditional row crops nearly disappearing.

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