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Economic Measures of Soil Conservation Benefits: Regional Values for Policy Assessment

by LeRoy T. Hansen and Marc Ribaudo

Technical Bulletin No. (TB-1922) 31 pp, September 2008

Cover image for ERS publication "Economic Measures of Soil Conservation Benefits: Regional Values for Policy Assessment" (TB-1922) This report describes data and methodologies that the Economic Research Service has used to apply monetary values to changes in soil erosion. Values and methodology are clearly described so that analysts can apply the data to specific soil conservation projects. ERS has used the values to estimate soil conservation benefits of changes in farm programs and practices, but no analyses of farm programs or practices are provided here. The benefit values are regional dollar-per-ton measures of 14 different categories of soil conservation benefits. There are other soil conservation benefits categories beyond those reported here, so a full accounting of benefits is not possible. As a result, monetary values derived from applications of these data are likely to be lower-bound estimates of the benefits or costs of changes in soil erosion. The data are thought to be detailed enough for national and regional estimates, but lack precision for smaller scale estimates.

Keywords: soil conservation, benefit analysis, soil conservation benefits, nonmarket value, soil erosion, water quality benefits, air quality benefits, soil productivity

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Last updated: Sunday, May 27, 2012

For more information contact: LeRoy T. Hansen and Marc Ribaudo