Biological Resources and Agriculture
Chapter 3.1 in Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indicators, 2003 Edited by Ralph Heimlich. Economic Research Service Agricultural Handbook No. (AH-722) 33 pp, February 2003
17 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2016
Date Written: February 22, 2003
Biological resources refer to the living landscape — the plants, animals, and other aspects of nature — and are important to society for the various services they provide, as well as problems they may create. Biological resources are grouped into those that affect agriculture, such as cultivated plants, pollinators, and pests; those that are sources of scientific inputs, such as agricultural plant varieties (and their wild relatives) that provide genetic resources; and those that provide natural goods and services, such as wildlife, fish, and scenic beauty. Traditional measures of agricultural productivity do not capture all the benefits of preserving biological resources on private lands. Because of this, private landowners may not have adequate incentives to consider the full range of goods and services produced by the biological resources under their control. In particular, it may not be profitable for farmers to adopt practices that provide the quantity and quality of wildlife habitat and genetic diversity desired by the American public. Similarly, farmers may not consider the full spectrum of indirect benefits when they make land use decisions.
Keywords: biological resources, agriculture, wildlife habitat, genetic resources
JEL Classification: Q29, Q28
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation