Arkansas, Soil Erosion, Watershed Management, Farm Management, Soil Conservation, Lake Basins, Surface Water, Economic Feasibility, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Recreation Demand
Lake Chicot is divided by a levee into two basins, the high quality northern basin and the extremely polluted southern basin. Water quality in the northern basin of Lake Chicot is diminishing due to soil erosion. Costs for alternative control programs for the seventeen fare, 11,470 acre northern watershed were estimated. Twenty-nine combinations of rotations and best management practices were evaluated. Soil loss can be reduced almost 25 percent from 4.2 tons per acre to 3.2 tons per acre, while increasing net returns to farmers from $83.94 per acre to $107.28 per acre by altering present cropping patterns. A prohibition on fall plowing would result in an average net return of $106.28 per acre and reduce average soil loss to 2.9 tons per acre. An average soil loss restriction would be the most cost-effective policy, exclusive of administrative costs. Benefits of erosion control were estimated by the difference between the value of recreational participation on the northern basin and the value for the southern basin. Control programs were highly cost-effective.
Shulstad, Robert N.; Osborn, C. Tim; and McQueen, Alan D.. 1983. The Costs and Benefits of Soil Erosion Control in the North Lake Chicot Watershed. Arkansas Water Resources Center, Fayetteville, AR. PUB095.