Spring 2022

March 4
Online Only

Maria Bowman


Cover crop practices, programs and soil health outcomes in the U.S.

Abstract - Maria will share findings from a recent ERS report on “Cover Crop Trends, Programs, and Practices in the United States”, including findings from the USDA Agricultural Resources Management survey on how cover crops are managed on corn, cotton, soybean, and wheat fields. She will also discuss the landscape of state and federal programs that support cover crop use in the U.S., present findings on soil health impacts of cover crops and costs of cover cropping from data from the Soil Health Partnership network, and talk about ERS’s emerging/ongoing research around the economics of cover crop adoption.


April 8
Filley Hall 210

Andrew Plantinga

U.C. Santa Barbara

Title - Environmental Markets: Is the Promise of Coase Fulfilled?


Abstract - 

It has long been recognized that common-pool resources, if left unmanaged, tend to be inefficiently over-extracted.  This “problem of the commons" remains pervasive today as many natural resources around the world deplete at unprecedented rates.  In 1960, Ronald Coase proposed that the assignment of property rights to resources can counter over-extraction and improve welfare by providing incentives for more efficient resource use. These appealing predictions have led to the recommendation of property rights for nearly every common-pool resource - from fisheries, forests, water, to the global climate - and provide an intellectual foundation for the use of environmental markets more broadly.  The effectiveness of property rights, however, is predicated on a number of stylized theoretical assumptions, many of which are violated in practice.  Thus, it is an empirical question whether property rights will be effective under real-world conditions.  In this talk, I will review the empirical literature on the performance of environmental markets, including discussion of my recent paper on groundwater markets (Ayres, A.B., Meng, K.C., and A.J. Plantinga. 2021. Do Environmental Markets Improve on Open Access? Evidence from California Groundwater Rights. Journal of Political Economy 129(10):2817-2860).


April 29
Filley Hall 210

Richard Sexton

U.C. Davis, Filley-Geary Lecture

Title - Modern Food Supply Chains and Meeting the Challenges of Feeding Ourselves Through the 21st Century

Abstract - Expert predictions on the magnitude of growth in food demand through the 21st Century differ considerably, but all agree that we will need to produce markedly more food due to population growth and rising incomes, especially in high-population countries. Our ability to do it, however, is in question due to possible declines in the rate of agricultural productivity growth, adverse impacts of climate change, and pest and biological resistance to traditional treatments. Despite this immense and existential challenge, governments worldwide are pursuing agricultural, climate, and energy policies that unequivocally reduce crop yields and supply-chain efficiency. This lecture assesses the food-supply challenges that society faces in the 21st Century and the impediments we have imposed upon ourselves to meeting those challenges.


Past Seminars