Evaluating environmental and economic trade-offs in agriculture.
The demand for Conservation Agriculture stems from the need to improve the environment, sustain natural resources, and meet the food requirements of a growing population. While farmers have the potential to benefit in the long run from implementing conservation practices, costs of implementation increase in the short run. To assess these short run tradeoffs, environmental aspects of agricultural production should be incorporated into profit maximization framework and simulation tools are used to evaluate farm profits and environmental quality outcomes. There are four approaches used to incorporate environmental aspects of agricultural production: traditional input profit maximization, non-traditional input profit maximization, multiple input/output profit maximization, and constrained profit maximization. Environmental and economic outcomes are assessed in Oregon sweet cherry and wheat production. The sweet cherry analysis determines the economic and environmental outcomes of pesticide use and provides alternative pesticide options that are less costly with lower environmental impact. A shadow value is assigned to greenhouse gas emission reductions by determining the on-farm cost of lowering emissions. The wheat application shows that profits increase by switching from conventional tillage to no-till. A sensitivity analysis establishes the yield advantage that would be needed from conventional tillage to make profits equal to no-till. The environmental simulation tools show that switching to no-till lowers greenhouse gas emissions by carbon sequestration and reduces soil erosion. Results from the sweet cherry and wheat application are connected to the profit maximization frameworks.
I grew up in McMinnville, Oregon and moved to Corvallis in 2010 to attend OSU and earn a Bachelors degree in Environmental Economics and Policy in the Department of Applied Economics. I started working with Professor Clark Seavert my senior year and I decided to apply to graduate school within the department to work on AgEnvironmentTM. I will complete an MS degree in June 2016. I am interested in Agri-Environmental Policies and working with growers to minimize environmental impact to improve their business.