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Agriculture and Environmental Issues in the Maumee River Basin

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Title: Agriculture and Environmental Issues in the Maumee River Basin


1
Agriculture and Environmental Issues in the
Maumee River Basin
  • Brent Sohngen
  • Department of Agricultural Environmental, and
    Development Economics
  • The Ohio State University

2
Price for Emitting SO2
Price for selling corn
3
Presentation
  • Why the concern?
  • Issues on the agenda
  • Short and Longer time horizons
  • Where are the going?
  • What do farmers think about conservation programs?

4
Why the Concern?Water Quality Statistics
Source Ohio EPA
5
Why the Concern?Sources of Impairment
Source Ohio EPA
6
Issues On the Agenda
  • Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL)
  • Buffer Initiative (NW Ohio)
  • Longer Run
  • Habitat Alteration
  • Carbon Sequestration

7
What is TMDL?
  • Total Maximum Daily Load
  • An attempt to reduce pollutants from non-point
    sources (agriculture and development) in order to
    meet CWA goals.

8
Key Points on TMDLs
  • Focus on nonpoint sources Collect new data to
    allow load calculations for NPS
  • Voluntary efforts and reasonable assurances No
    new regulations for NPS
  • Regulated community sees this as an opportunity
    to reduce future abatement efforts
  • Long term process, i.e. gt20 years.

9
Ohios TMDL Schedule NW OhioNot Heavily
Involved Until 2004
10
Lake Erie Buffer Initiative
  • Goal To Enroll 50,000 acres of new conservation
    buffers into the CRP program by 2005
  • Reduce sediments and Nutrients
  • Means Federal (CREP) and State Subsidies

11
Lake Erie Buffer Initiative
Source Steve Davis, NRCS
12
Cost Share PaymentsContinuing To Increase
13
How Much Is This?Acres Since 1987
Maumee RB Statewide ACRES IN CRP
PROGRAM Trees/Wetlands 6,490 (0.02)
18,506 Grass, etc. 122,204 (0.41) 280,939 TOTAL
128,694 (0.43) 299,444 PROPORTION
OF FARMED ACRES Trees/Wetlands 0.00
0.00 Grass, etc. 0.03 0.02 TOTAL
0.03 0.02
Source USDA -- FSA
14
Put these numbers in perspective
Change from 1987 2000 (1000
acres) Total chg/yr Cropland
(930) (72) CRP 299
23 Forestland 246 19 Urban
Uses 741 73
Source USDA, National Resources Inventory
15
Issues on the Horizon From Land to Water
Habitat Alteration
  • Ohios water quality data focuses on biological
    criteria, not just chemicals
  • Water flow matters as much as whats in water.
  • Implication Not only do production practices
    matter, but drainage practices matter as well!
  • Maumee river basin is intensively drained
  • Drainage will grow as a Water Quality issue
  • What about all those streams that were built in
    the 40s to 90s?

16
Issue on the HorizonFrom land to air Carbon
Sequestration
  • Kyoto is NOT Dead US will engage in carbon
    policy alone, and will use National, NAFTA, and
    Western Hemisphere policies to handle it.
  • Three-Pollutant Bill or Four-Pollutant Bill?
  • Bush vs. Jeffords II.
  • Tighter restrictions on air emissions from power
    plants (SO2, NOX, Mercury) CO2?
  • How much will carbon be worth?
  • 5 per ton - 150 per ton per year
  • 0.05 - 1.50 per gallon gasoline at the pump

17
What could this mean to you? Cash Rent 120
Soil Erosion 3.4 t/ac/yr
Land Value Option 10 per
ton 150 per ton
/Acre/year Conventional 120
120 No Tillage (0.4t/ac/yr) 122 (2)
152 (32) Trees (1-3t/ac/yr) 24
(-96) 356 (236)
18
What do Farmers think about all this?
Question Yes No NR Ohio Ag is a major
polluter of Water 22 75 3 Air
7 88 5 Have you heard about
TMDL? 17 79 4 Will TMDL reduce your
profits? 55 29 16 Will TMDL improve water
quality 54 29 17 Livestock Regulations
Will ODA regulate large livestock
fairly 65 29 6 Will ODA be credible with
Non farm Ohioans 49 42 9
Which type of Agriculture most negative affects
water quality in Ohio Livestock 49 Row Crops
43 NR 8
19
What should farm programs do?
The Federal Govt should Provide financial
incentives To encourage? Prot. Of Water
Quality 89 Prod. Biomass fuels 89 Protecting
Farmland 87 Reducing Soil Erosion 82 Manag.
Animal Waste 68 Prot. Open Space 62 Prov.
Wildlife Habitat 61 Increasing Soil C 47 End.
Sp. Hab. 46
To receive Farm Program Benefits, farmers should
be Required to? Use Red-Tillage 50 Use
No-Tillage 25 Plant 20 Buffers 39 Plant
cover crops 21
20
Conclusions
  • Fingers for water quality impacts point at
    agriculture, but agriculture seems to be
    indifferent to the issues
  • Is there a credibility problem?
  • Issues are going to continue to grow more
    complex, focusing on land and water management.
  • Agriculture has some great successes in program
    enrollment
  • But there is no silver bullet linking program
    enrollment to actual improvements in water
    quality.
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