December 9 Webinar: The Cost and Benefits of Agricultural Water Conservation: An Economist’s Perspective

December 2, 2020

AMES, Iowa—Learn more about the economics behind adopting conservation practices to mitigate water quality concerns during the Iowa Learning Farms webinar on Wednesday, December 9 at noon.

Wendong Zhang, assistant professor and extension economist at Iowa State University, will present new survey results on how Iowans value reductions in harmful algal blooms in Iowa waterways, and the economic costs to induce farmers to adopt conservation practices. Drawing on published interdisciplinary data, Zhang will also discuss the challenges of the existing nutrient reduction policy toolbox and possible remedies.

“Economists could help improve the design and cost-effectiveness of nutrient management policies,” said Zhang. “Grand challenges like reducing Gulf of Mexico hypoxia takes concerted efforts and thinking beyond the existing policy toolbox.”

Zhang’s research seeks to better understand the drivers of conservation practice adoption, as well as the economic benefits and costs of various nutrient reduction policies. During the webinar he will share lessons learned from his research experience on the economics of phosphorus reduction in Lake Erie watershed and nitrogen reduction in the Mississippi River watershed.

Webinar Access Instructions

To participate in the live webinar, shortly before 12 pm CST on December 9:

Click this URL, or type this web address into your internet browser:

    Or, go to and enter meeting ID: 364 284 172 


Or, join from a dial-in phone line:

    Dial: +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923

    Meeting ID: 364 284 172


The webinar will also be recorded and archived on the ILF website, so that it can be watched at any time. Archived webinars are available at

A Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit (CEU) has been applied for, for those who are able to participate in the live webinar. Information about how to apply to receive the credit (if approved) will be provided at the end of the live webinar.

About Iowa Learning Farms

Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation by encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Partners of Iowa Learning Farms include the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319) and GROWMARK, Inc.


Hilary Pierce                                       Jacqueline Comito

Extension Outreach Specialist            ILF Program Director                  

515-294-8912                                       515-296-0081