Dairy Programs to Reduce Manure-Related Environmental Problems: The Case of the Louisiana Milkshed

Krishna P. Paudel
Wayne M. Gauthier
John V. Westra
Larry M. Hall

DOI: 10.2190/ES.31.4.f


Decreasing the amount of dairy manure by lowering the population of dairy cows is one route for coping with the problems associated with dairy manure. In Louisiana's major milkshed, a recent survey of dairy gave insights into rules that would both reduce levels of dairy manure and minimize conflicts with efficiency and equity. Payments to dairy producers for undertaking voluntary practices that either reduce cow numbers or mitigate environmental damages associated with dairy manure were more acceptable than mandatory programs. This study uses the "cheap talk" method to elicit values for willingness to accept (WTA) payment to participate in the milk diversion program (MDP) or the dairy termination program (DTP). The study compares the survey respondents' participation and amounts received in the MDP twenty years ago to hypothetical WTA payments if the programs were to be instituted today. Logistic and tobit regression models were used to identify the factors affecting dairy program participation and levels and reported bid values submitted by producers. Results indicated that past participation is the key variable in explaining future participation in a voluntary milk reduction program. Bootstrap results confirm that most of the estimated parameters fall within the range of the bootstrap confidence interval.

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