Thursday, October 20, 2011

Economics of Cleaning the Chesapeake

A nice little summary of the issues associated with improving water quality in the Chesapeake is posted here. Below are some quotes about the problem; the article also presents several possible solutions. (If you're in Resources class, please read the whole article.)

"Two basic issues must be addressed if water quality goals are to be achieved. First, the regional nutrient budget is out of balance: more nutrients, primarily in the form of animal feed, are being brought into the watershed than can be assimilated, in the form of manure, by the crops grown. Second, not enough farmers are using the most effective—best—nutrient management practices. The persistence of these problems is not entirely due to a lack of resources. In the Bay, as elsewhere in the United States, water quality protection in agriculture has largely been pursued through voluntary strategies, supported by government financial and technical assistance. Only recently have large animal intensive enterprises been subjected to National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements..."

"For a voluntary program to be efficient, it must enroll farmers who can provide abatement at least cost. Current USDA cost-share programs are not designed to do this."

1 comment:

  1. I have just gotten into farming and have been doing research on Animal Feed so this post was very informative!