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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 94 No. 1, p. 57-64
    Received: June 2, 2000

    * Corresponding author(s): rfleming@ca.uky.edu
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Measuring the Cost of Restricting Access to Cropland for Manure Nutrient Management

  1. Ronald A. Fleming * and
  2. James D. Long
  1. Dep. of Agric. Econ., Univ. of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546-0276. Tech. Paper no. 01-04-104 of the Kentucky Agric. Exp. Stn


In the area of animal manure management, an issue of concern is the slope of cropland to which manure can be applied without fear of surface runoff of nutrients and other environmental contaminants. In Kentucky, regulators and environmentalists favor a 12% slope limit while agriculturalists favor a slope limit set at 18%. The purpose of this research is to assess the impact on manure management cost of an environmental policy that restricts the slope of cropland to which swine (Sus scrofa) manure can be applied from 18 to 12%. Using a geographical information system, U.S. Geological Survey land use and land coverage maps and digital elevation maps are scanned to identify crop production areas suitable for manure management. Economic impacts are measured by translating changes in area suitable for manure applications into distances that manure must be transported. Results indicate that restricting manure application to a slope of <12% is likely to impact a region of significant pork production in Kentucky. This more restrictive slope policy increased the manure management cost of feeder operations producing 5000 head annually by as much as $0.35 head−1 (a 7% reduction in net return) across 85% of the state's agricultural area.

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Copyright © 2002. American Society of AgronomyPublished in Agron. J.94:57–64.