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Environmental Impacts of Equine Operations
Department of Agricultural Economics
This project focuses on environmental concerns for horse owners. We propose research to determine the potential environmental impacts of equine operations on soil, water and air quality. This data will be incorporated into a model that will identify losses in the system in order to devise educational and management strategies for horse producers to improve soil, air, and water quality.
2010 Project Description
The five-year project "Environmental Impacts of Equine Operations" focuses on three areas: horse and pasture interaction; nutrient management and manure management; and water, soil, and air quality in horse operations. Most of these areas are related to animal science, but there is room for economic analysis as well. Some of the proposed best management practices are quite costly, and since each horse owners' contribution to environmental pollution is minimal, they rationally will not pay much to mitigate the damage.
To that end, a survey is currently being designed to elicit willingness to pay by horse owners for a variety of best management practices being studied. The results from this study are crucial because it is important to know what practices horse owners are actually willing to implement. In additional, the results should provide evidence of what factors are most salient to horse owners, such as improved environmental conditions or better horse health.
The survey mentioned above is still under design and has not yet been administered; there are no outcomes to report at this time.