Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Benefits from Conservation Practices Targeted in Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy 2013: A Non Market Valuation Approach

Mainul Hoque, Catherine L. Kling
March 2016  [16-WP 561]

With the aim of improving water quality, the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy 2014 sets a goal of reducing agricultural non-point-source generated nitrogen load by 41 percent and phosphorus load by 29 percent in Iowa’s waterways. The “strategy” describes several land use that could achieve those reductions, such as widespread adoption of conservation practices in farming, land retirement, and wetland restoration that can meet the specified target reduction. The goal of the current study is to identify the range of ecosystem benefits resulting from the conservation practices associated with each of these scenarios and apply a nonmarket valuation method to monetize as many of these co-benefits as possible. The results will inform policymakers and stakeholders regarding the efficiency of the program.

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