Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




There has been a growing concern over soil erosion in recent years. Farmers, government officials, agronomists, agricultural economists, and the general public have become concerned with growing rates and the extent of soil loss under the "all out" production of recent years. Soil erosion cannot be entirely arrested economically or even physically. This study examines the impacts that would be likely if attempts are made to arrest erosion;The linear programming model used in the analysis is national in nature, incorporating 28 market regions and 105 producing areas and is used to examine five solutions for 2030. The Base is an unconstrained soil loss solution and it is compared to the other four solutions. Once the Base is attained, producing area soil loss is reduced 20, 40, and 60 percent of the Base levels. A final solution, one that has the allowed level of soil loss fixed at the estimated 1977 level, is examined;The national and regional responses to the changing soil loss levels are examined. Land used to meet the projected demand levels declines as allowed soil loss declines, but irrigated land increases. Changes in rotations, conservation and tillage practices, and crop pattern shifts are also analyzed. The changes in the resource use of land, costs of production, nitrogen, pesticides, water, and energy also are examined;The analysis indicates that the agricultural sector and society will achieve long run benefits if soil is reduced from present levels. The Base indicates that the present soil loss levels can be reduced to 1.2 billion tons with society gaining from decreased food and fiber costs and agriculture gaining from less resource use and increased yields. As soil erosion declines, the trend of shifting from straight row to other conservation methods and from conventional tillage to reduced tillage practices indicate that a policy that encourages this trend would result in significant reductions of soil erosion from agricultural land.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Burton Clyde English



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File Size

148 pages