Terracing Economics on Iowa Soils

Burton C. English, David R. Krog
May 1984  [84-WP 4]

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Suggested citation:

English, B.C. and D. Krog. 1984. "Terracing Economics on Iowa Soils." Working paper 84-WP 4. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University.


In a recent study, Pope, Bhide, and Heady [10] found that conservation tillage, when combined with contour farming, was the most economical means of reducing erosion on most Iowa soils. They continued by indicating that on some of the more erosive soils, less intensive crop rotations, strip cropping, or terracing may be required if soil loss is to be reduced to tolerable levels. However, the soils where terracing may be a viable alternative and a measure of the costs associated with the adoption of this soil-conserving method were not completely analyzed. As a result, a companion study aimed at determining the break-even costs of installing terracing on Iowa's soils has been conducted.

The general purpose of this study is to determine, from a farmer's perspective, the economic profitability of terracing in Iowa compared to other means of controlling soil erosion.