Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Barnes, James N.

Committee Member

Parman, Byron J.

Committee Member

Coatney, Kalyn T.

Committee Member

Coble, Keith

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Agricultural Economics

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Agricultural Economics


The agricultural industry in the United States has seen unprecedented growth in productivity and changes in industry structure. However, some negative environmental effects have emerged related to nitrogen, phosphorous, and sediment runoff. This study developed a novel, community economic systems methodology called the Biophysical and Economic Simulation of Agricultural Production (BESAP) model. This analyzed the economic tradeoff between farm and community level impacts associated with potential water quality standards for mitigating runoff in Mississippi. Key findings include: 1) farm-level net returns decrease with more stringent conservation practices to reduce nutrient runoff; 2) reductions in farm-level net returns have greater indirect cost effects on input suppliers and households than at the farm-level; and 3) farm-level net returns vary significantly depending on the conservation practices used, and the greater the change in farm-level net returns, the greater the net economic effect on the local food system in terms of employment, and valueded.