Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Improvements of environmental quality, and energy production and conservation for present and future generations have become important goals of our society. However, improvement of one goal is in general accompanied by degradation of the other goal since energy use as well as new energy production technologies result in contamination of water and air which are vital to public health;It is assumed that policy-makers have three objectives to be minimized in U.S. agricultural crop production. The objectives are minimization of crop production and transportation costs, soil loss, and energy use in producing the given demands. An interregional linear programming model was constructed to examine changes in production patterns, resource use patterns, cost, and soil loss in response to single objectives versus multiobjectives. A partial trade-off relationship between soil loss and energy use was also derived by employing the constraint method. The model has a set of constraints and a set of activities. There are approximately 1,200 resource constraints and more than 30,000 activities in the model. The year 1990 was specified as the basis for the analysis;Decrease in energy use in U.S. crop production can be achieved by increased adoption of reduced tillage practices, a shift of crop production from irrigated land to dryland, and substitution of cropland for energy inputs. Reduction of soil erosion can be accomplished by adopting conservation tillage practices, replacing conventional tillage practices with reduced tillage practices or no-tillage practices, utilizing crop residues, and rotating row crops with sod crops. The results of two compromise solutions derived by using L(,p)-metrics suggest that the levels of energy use and costs are higher, but the level of soil loss is lower as compared to the cost minimization solution;The adjustment process of reducing energy use involves opposite forces under the minimization of soil loss. Increased adoption of reduced tillage practices undoubtedly results in a reduction of soil loss and energy use. However, shifts in crop production from the western regions to the rainfed regions and the substitution of land for energy in all regions to meet the specified demands in the model increase soil loss. The solutions on the partial trade-off curve show that the net national change in soil loss is positive as the level of energy use in endogenous crop production declines. Therefore, there exists a trade-off relationship between energy use and soil loss from the national point of view.



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Pil-Kwon Chung



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123 pages

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Economics Commons