Campus Units

Economics, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

Document Type

Article

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date

9-2010

Journal or Book Title

Ecological Applications

Volume

20

Issue

6

First Page or Article ID Number

1542

Last Page

1555

DOI

10.1890/08-0680.1

Abstract

In 2008, the hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico, measuring 20 720 km2, was one of the two largest reported since measurement of the zone began in 1985. The extent of the hypoxic zone is related to nitrogen and phosphorous loadings originating on agricultural fields in the upper Midwest. This study combines the tools of evolutionary computation with a water quality model and cost data to develop a trade-off frontier for the Upper Mississippi River Basin specifying the least cost of achieving nutrient reductions and the location of the agricultural conservation practices needed. The frontier allows policymakers and stakeholders to explicitly see the trade-offs between cost and nutrient reductions. For example, the cost of reducing annual nitrate-N loadings by 30% is estimated to be US$1.4 billion/year, with a concomitant 36% reduction in P and the cost of reducing annual P loadings by 30% is estimated to be US$370 million/year, with a concomitant 9% reduction in nitrate-N.

Comments

This article is published as Rabotyagov, Sergey, Todd Campbell, Manoj Jha, Philip W. Gassman, Jeffrey Arnold, Lyubov Kurkalova, Silvia Secchi, Hongli Feng, and Catherine L. Kling. "Least‐cost control of agricultural nutrient contributions to the Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone." Ecological Applications 20, no. 6 (2010): 1542-1555. doi:10.1890/08-0680.1.

Rights

Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.

Language

en

File Format

application/pdf

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