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Agronomy Journal Abstract - Soils, Agronomy & Environmental Quality

Estimating Net Carbon Emissions and Agricultural Response to Potential Carbon Offset Policies


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 103 No. 4, p. 1132-1143
    Received: Dec 21, 2010

    * Corresponding author(s): mpopp@uark.edu
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  1. Michael Popp *a,
  2. Lanier Nalleya,
  3. Corey Fortina,
  4. Aaron Smitha and
  5. Kristofor Bryeb
  1. a Dep. of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, Univ. of Arkansas, 217 Agriculture Building, Fayetteville, AR 72701
    b Dep. of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences, 115 Plant Sciences Bldg., Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701


In this study, we developed a technique for estimating soil C sequestration from crop production with detailed spatial differences in production practices, tillage effects, and soil textures often overlooked when modeling state-level implications of climate change policies. The model also tracks C equivalent (CE) emissions from fertilizer, fuel, and agricultural chemical use. Using Arkansas as an example, a model that maximizes crop returns to producers in conjunction with C offset payments allowed estimation of probable changes in county-level cropping patterns and income as a result of varying C prices. While income ramifications of a C-offset climate change policy are positive, significant uncertainty about resultant greenhouse gas (GHG) effects are demonstrated. Crops included were corn (Zea mays L.), cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.), grain sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench], soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.], rice (Oryza sativa L.) and wheat (Triticum spp.). As a result of this detailed analysis, two caveats are that (i) policy recommendations hinge on a baseline scenario that would change with changes in input and output price levels, with these interactions not modeled within, and (ii) monitoring costs of a C-offset market could be significant.

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