Preliminary Look at the Potential for Increasing Both Food and Fiber Production in the Southeast Via Land Conversions, A

Jay D. Atwood, Burton C. English
June 1984  [84-WP 6]

The Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) is developing a model to examine land use changes and their associated environmental and economic implications for the Southeast region of the United States. The model will be built as if there were two regions in the U.S. One region is the Southeast with the other region containing the remainder of the 48 contiguous states. The driving force within the model will be assumed levels of demand for, or prices of, various agricultural and silvicultural products on a market region and national level. The CARD southeast model will be a cost minimization linear program. It will allocate the land resources of the nation to alternative uses to produce the specified levels of crop, forest, and pasture/range products. The model will also incorporate constraints such as allowable erosion levels, regional shifts in production, and levels of government policy variables.

The basic hypothesis of this research is that future change sin national, including exports, and regional demand levels will cause substantial acreages of land in the Southeast to be converted to an alternative use. Such conversions could also occur as a result of government policy decisions. The land use conversions to be included in the Southeast are all directions between forest, crop, orchard, idle and pasture or range, and dryland to irrigated. In the remainder of the nation allowable conversions will be forest and pasture to crop and dryland to irrigated. The model will be an extension of current CARD national models by including for the Southeast the land conversions noted above. Also the crops of apples, citrus, peaches, pecans, sweet-corn, tomatoes, tobacco, sugarcane, rye, rice, and sweet and Irish potatoes will be included in the endogenous rather than exogenous crop sector for selected states as shown in Appendix 1. An overview of the model process is given in Figure 1.

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