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Free Content Decision Considerations and Cost Analysis of Beneficial Management Practice Implementation in Thomas Brook Watershed, Nova Scotia

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Most agricultural beneficial management practices (BMP) require not only investment of money and forgone opportunities for farmers, but can also result in reduced farm returns, especially in the short-run, thereby making such BMP adoption costly for farmers. Two approaches were used to assess the detailed on-farm costs, and important non-economic and less quantifiable decision considerations associated with establishing and maintaining two structural BMPs and one nonstructural BMP in the Thomas Brook Watershed, Nova Scotia, Canada. Labour cost and technical consultancy fees as a percentage of total BMP cost was higher for the stormwater diversion drainage system (60%) than for fencing to exclude livestock from a waterway (32%). In contrast, material costs as a proportion of total cost was higher for livestock exclusion fencing (47%) than for the stormwater diversion drainage system (6%). Results of the analysis demonstrate the complementarity of the two methods. The case study in-depth interviews on key farm and BMP specific factors considered in implementing the BMPs are consistent with the empirical economic cost analysis. Furthermore, the qualitative analysis revealed that besides economic costs, other important factors and motivations influence farmers' decisions to implement and maintain environmental conservation-compatible practices, which agricultural administrators and policy makers should not ignore.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-08-01

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