Date of Award
Master of Science
Dayton M. Lambert
Christopher D. Clark, Christopher N. Boyer, Shawn A. Hawkins, Karen E. Lewis
Federal programs incentivize livestock managers to adopt best management practices (BMPs), such as rotational grazing, water tank systems, stream crossings, and pasture improvement to prevent or reduce soil erosion. This thesis addresses the challenge of integrating socio-economic data on rotational grazing (RG) adoption behavior with hydrologic/biophysical models to analyze the association between incentives, BMP adoption, and changes in soil erosion. Using primary survey data of livestock producers in an East Tennessee watershed, the study estimates willingness to adopt BMPs among livestock producers. The propensity to adopt one or multiple management technologies, given an incentive, is estimated with a multivariate probit regression. The likelihood producers adopt RG is integrated into the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) hydrologic model to generate upland sediment loss abatement curves for the watershed. Abatement curves specific to each hydrologic response unit (HRU) comprising the watershed are estimated and then aggregated to determine an aggregate abatement curve for the watershed. Based on the abatement curves, HRU are ranked according to programmatic cost efficiency. The maximum upland sediment loss reduction with rotational grazing totals 1,450 tons/year at a cost of $170/ton across the Oostanaula Creek Watershed.
Medwid, Laura Jane, "Incentives for Best Management Practice Adoption among Beef Cattle Producers and Effects on Upland Sediment Loss: A Case Study in Southeastern Tennessee. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 2016.