Nitrogen in Agricultural Systems: Implications for Conservation Policy

89 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2012

See all articles by Marc Ribaudo

Marc Ribaudo

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Jorge Delgado

Government of the United States of America - Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

LeRoy Hansen

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Mike Livingston

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Roberto Mosheim

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

James Williamson

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS)

Date Written: September 1, 2011

Abstract

Nitrogen is an important agricultural input that is critical for crop production. However, the introduction of large amounts of nitrogen into the environment has a number of undesirable impacts on water, terrestrial, and atmospheric resources. This report explores the use of nitrogen in U.S. agriculture and assesses changes in nutrient management by farmers that may improve nitrogen use efficiency. It also reviews a number of policy approaches for improving nitrogen management and identifies issues affecting their potential performance. Findings reveal that about two-thirds of U.S. cropland is not meeting three criteria for good nitrogen management. Several policy approaches, including financial incentives, nitrogen management as a condition of farm program eligibility, and regulation, could induce farmers to improve their nitrogen management and reduce nitrogen losses to the environment.

Keywords: Reactive nitrogen, nitrogen management, fertilizer, water quality, greenhouse gas, economic incentives, conservation policy, regulation

Suggested Citation

Ribaudo, Marc and Delgado, Jorge and Hansen, LeRoy Thomas and Livingston, Michael J. and Mosheim, Roberto and Williamson, James, Nitrogen in Agricultural Systems: Implications for Conservation Policy (September 1, 2011). USDA-ERS Economic Research Report No. 127. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2115532 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2115532

Marc Ribaudo (Contact Author)

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States
202-694-5488 (Phone)
202-502-6174 (Fax)

Jorge Delgado

Government of the United States of America - Agricultural Research Service (ARS) ( email )

Jamie L. Whitten Building
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20250
United States

LeRoy Thomas Hansen

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

355 E St., SW
Washington, DC 20036-5831
United States
202-694-5612 (Phone)

Michael J. Livingston

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

1400 Independence Ave SW
Mail Stop 1800
Washington, DC 20250-1800
United States
202-694-5543 (Phone)
202-245-4847 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ers.usda.gov/AboutERS/Bios/view.asp?ID=mlivingston

Roberto Mosheim

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States
(202) 694-5365 (Phone)

James Williamson

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS) ( email )

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States
(202) 694-5539 (Phone)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
236
rank
127,197
Abstract Views
1,069
PlumX Metrics
!

Under construction: SSRN citations while be offline until July when we will launch a brand new and improved citations service, check here for more details.

For more information