Economic and decision barriers to soil health practice adoption: A role for public policy?


Farmers have long had the goal of managing land for use by future generations. Accordingly, the U.S. Department of Agriculture aims to increase soil health by providing information about soil health management practices and systems of practices that will build soil health: the capacity of the soil to function as a vital living ecosystem to sustain life.

Producers are responding positively, but economic barriers remain to adopting soil health management systems. For example, in the Southeast United States, a longer growing season, high humidity and rainfall, and diverse cropping systems result in concerns about implementing conservation systems to increase soil health.

Presentations in this webinar will review interdisciplinary research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, National Soil Dynamics Laboratory as well as research done in the north central United States. Presentations will review the current rates of adoption of soil health promoting practices, provide an overview of associated public and private costs and benefits, and discuss the U.S. conservation programs designed to encourage adoption.

Moderator: David Lamm, National Soil Health Team Leader, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service

Soil health practices in the United States: an overview of incentives for and potential barriers to adoption - Maria Bowman, Research Agricultural Economist, USDA Economic Research Service

Addressing the Barriers to Conservation Systems Adoption through Research - Leah Duzy, Agricultural Economist, National Soil Dynamics Laboratory, USDA Agricultural Research Service

Economic Hurdles and Opportunities-Considerations for Producers and Researchers Alike- Bryon Kirwan, State Economist, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service

Sponsors: USDA Economists Group and C-FARE