Estimating Soil Loss Abatement Curves with Primary Survey Data and Hydrologic Models: An Empirical Example for Livestock Production in an East Tennessee Watershed

Government subsidy programs incentivize livestock managers to adopt best management practices (BMPs), such as rotational grazing, water tank systems, stream crossings, and pasture improvement to prevent or reduce soil erosion. This paper addresses the challenge of integrating socio-economic data on BMP adoption behavior with hydrologic/biophysical models to analyze the association between incentives, BMP adoption, and changes in soil erosion rates. Using primary survey data of livestock producers in an East Tennessee watershed, this research estimates willingness to adopt BMPs among livestock producers. The propensity to adopt one or multiple management technologies, given an incentive, is estimated with a multivariate probit regression. The likelihood producers adopt one or a combination of practices is then integrated into the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) hydrologic model to generate soil loss abatement curves for the watershed. Abatement curves specific to each hydrologic response unit (HRU) comprising the watershed are estimated and then aggregated to determine an aggregate abatement curve for the watershed. Based on the abatement curves, HRU are ranked according to cost efficiency.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-08-22

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