Tradeoffs Between Water Quality and Profitability in Iowa Agriculture
Routine water quality monitoring in the state has found increasing incidences of contamination in both surface and ground waters. Studies conducted recently across the nation and in Iowa suggest that farm profitability is the most important individual factor influencing change in agricultural practices (Contant and Young 1990; Lasley et al. 1990). The project described in this report examined how various policies to control nonpoint source pollution would affect farm profitability; it also examined the relative effects of these policies on the quality of surface and ground water in rural Iowa. This project was designed to help answer the fundamental question of how public policy can be fashioned, within the context of existing agricultural production and environmental protection policies, to address more effectively the perceived conflict between farm profitabiliy and water quality protection.