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

See all articles by Daniel Hellerstein

Daniel Hellerstein

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS), Resource and Rural Economics Division

Kelly Day-Rubenstein

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

Jan Lewandrowski

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

Peter Feather

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

LeRoy Hansen

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

Daniel Mullarkey

USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service

Kevin Ingram

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

Date Written: February 22, 2003

Abstract

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

Hellerstein, Daniel and Day-Rubenstein, Kelly and Lewandrowski, Jan and Feather, Peter and Hansen, LeRoy Thomas and Mullarkey, Daniel and Ingram, Kevin, Biological Resources and Agriculture (February 22, 2003). 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. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2736655

Daniel Hellerstein (Contact Author)

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Economic Research Service (ERS), Resource and Rural Economics Division ( email )

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States
202-694-5613 (Phone)
202-694-5756 (Fax)

Kelly Day-Rubenstein

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

355 E Street, SW
Washington, DC 20024-3221
United States
202-694-5515 (Phone)

Jan Lewandrowski

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

1800 M Street, NW
Room 4202
Washington, DC 20036-5831
United States
202-694-5522 (Phone)
202-694-5774 (Fax)

Peter Feather

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

1800 M Street, NW
Room 4077
Washington, DC 20036-5831
United States
202-694-5608 (Phone)
202-694-5756 (Fax)

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)

Daniel Mullarkey

USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service ( email )

5601 Sunnyside Ave
George Washington Carver Center
Beltsville, MD 20705
United States
301-504-2344 (Phone)

Kevin Ingram

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

1800 M Street, NW
Room 4219
Washington, DC 20036-5831
United States

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