In 2000 and 2001, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture administered a pilot transport subsidy program to demonstrate the feasibility of moving surplus poultry litter nutrients to areas with nutrient-deficient soils. Three subsidy program goals were evaluated ex post: (1) attracting first time buyers; (2) subsidizing economically feasible litter use; and (3) encouraging environmentally appropriate litter use. The first two goals were met with 62% of participants being first time users and 89% of the subsidized litter being an economically feasible replacement for commercial fertilizer. Under the third goal, environmental protections provided by program participants were found to be comparable to those practiced by poultry growers. While the program met these goals over the short term, most participants did not become committed users of litter without continued transport subsidies.
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Document Type: Research Article
Alan R. Collins is an associate professor and Chair of the Agricultural and Resource Economics Program at West Virginia University.
Tom Basden is a nutrient management specialist with the Cooperative Extension Service at West Virginia University.
Publication date: March 1, 2006