Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural Economics

Document Type



The EPA has identified agriculture to be a major contributor of nonpoint source water pollution. The production of rice poses two major water quality issues: the application of a large amount of water that is held on the field for long periods of time during the growing season and the disposal of that water at a later time in the production cycle. Louisiana has developed the voluntary adoption of Best Management Practices (BMPs). These practices have been promoted through educational programs such as the Master Farmer program. This program, developed by the LSU AgCenter, targets conservation practices that are both environmentally and economically beneficial. This study assessed the current adoption of 20 Best Management Practices (BMPs) in the Southwest Louisiana rice industry and provided policy recommendations based on the results. The practices were grouped into five management areas: erosion and sediment management, water management, nutrient management, pesticide management, and wildlife habitat management. A mail survey was conducted to determine producer awareness of water quality legislation, adoption of BMPs, participation in Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) cost share programs, additional sources of on-farm revenue, environmental attitudes, and socioeconomic information. The results show that the most significant variables include: awareness of the Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Act, educational programs and consultation with LCES personnel, attendance of grower meetings, farm size, intention to pass the farm to a family member, and the leasing of the majority of land to others. The recommendations of this study are to continue the promotion of educational programs and producer involvement with LCES agents



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Steve Henning