External Costs of Agricultural Production in the United States
Published in 2004 in the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability by the University of Iowa Department of Economics, this study on the external costs of agricultural production provides valuable data for quantifying external costs that are usually just described as health and environmental concerns. While all agricultural practices impact the environment, some practices lead to overall negative externalities while others have a positive external impact. According to the study, "[e]xternal costs are estimated at $5.7 to $16.9 billion annually." The specific externalities these costs are based on are human health, natural resources, and ecosystem and wildlife biodiversity. This study was conducted by the Organic Valley Cooperative.