Agriculture, Economics and Nature

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  • Agricultural production and prices, and agriculture’s reliance on natural resources
    • Week 1 provides a history of agricultural production and prices, an examination into the reasons behind changes in production and prices, and discussions of the 2007 global food crisis and agriculture’s usage of resources.
  • Resource and environmental challenges facing agriculture
    • Week 2 addresses the agricultural issues of water availability, peak phosphorus, herbicide resistance, and climate change.
  • The economics of agricultural inputs
    • Week 3 looks at the relationship between inputs and outputs, the optimal level of an input, the question of pollution from inputs, and flat payoff functions.
  • The economics of land conservation
    • Week 4 focuses on evaluating land conservation practices, weighing benefits and costs correctly, non-economic factors, and provides an example in conservation agriculture.
  • The economics of agri-environmental projects
    • Week 5 discusses the importance of extending economics beyond the farm gate, characteristics of agri-environmental projects, Benefit: Cost Analysis, and provides an example with Gippsland Lakes.
  • Government policies in agriculture
    • Week 6 ties up the course through discussion of government policies that support agriculture, policies that protect the rural environment, policies with problems, and justifications for agricultural policy.
  • Final Exam

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