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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Using the Analytical Hierarcy Process to Determine Economic and Environment Tradeoffs on Farms

Authors
item Hoag, Dana - COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY
item Page, Shauna - RESOURCE Z1
item Ascough, James

Submitted to: Multiple Objective Decision Support Systems for Land, Water, and Environment
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 1999
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The analytical hierarchy process (AHP) can provide information about how decision makers value or weight tradeoffs between economic and environmental objectives. This study looks at four objectives that irrigated corn producers might consider when choosing irrigation systems in the South Platte River Basin and Irrigated Plains regions of Northeastern Colorado, United States. Two are economic (profit and risk) and two are environmental (soil erosion and nitrate leaching). Our objectives were: 1) to determine the weights producers assign to the attributes in a decision, 2) to determine if AHP results represent actual preference values, and 3) to determine if AHP can be used in large mail surveys. Profit and soil erosion were equally important objectives, with 28% of the weight of importance each. Financial risk and nitrate leaching followed with ratings of 23% and 20%, respectively. The survey method appears to have worked well, despite the absence of recommended personal contact.

Technical Abstract: The analytical hierarchy process (AHP) can provide information about how decision makers value or weight tradeoffs between economic and environmental objectives. This study looks at four objectives that irrigated corn producers might consider when choosing irrigation systems in the South Platte River Basin and Irrigated Plains regions of Northeastern Colorado, United States. Two are economic (profit and risk) and two are environmental (soil erosion and nitrate leaching). Our objectives were: 1) to determine the weights producers assign to the attributes in a decision, 2) to determine if AHP results represent actual preference values, and 3) to determine if AHP can be used in large mail surveys. Profit and soil erosion were equally important objectives, with 28% of the weight of importance each. Financial risk and nitrate leaching followed with ratings of 23% and 20%, respectively. The survey method appears to have worked well, despite the absence of recommended personal contact.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014
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