Ecological, Economic and Policy Alternatives for Texas Rice Agriculture


An interdisciplinary research team, working in collaboration with and under the auspices of the Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy in the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, conducted a two-year research project entitled Ecological, Economic, and Policy Alternatives for Texas Rice Agriculture. This project was sponsored by the Texas Water Resources Institute (TWRI). Principal investigators were Dr. Letitia T. Alston, Dr. Thomas E. Lacher, Dr. R. Douglas Slack, Dr. Arnold Vedlitz, and Dr. Richard T. Woodward. They were assisted by Dr. James C. Franklin, post-doctoral research associate, and the following research assistants: Nicole Canzoneri, April Ann Torres Conkey, Deborah F. Cowman, Jeanine Harris, April Henry, Elizabeth Iennedy, Michelle Irohn, Ielly Mizell, Jill Nicholson, Kelly Tierce, and Yong-Suhk Wui.

The objectives of this research were: (1) to develop a reliable first estimate of the environmental consequences of reduction in rice acreage; (2) to analyze economic consequences of changes in rice acreage that may occur due to the changes in the system of price supports; and (3) to critically review existing policy and explore the kinds of institutional arrangements that might be developed to encourage the preservation of the environmental amenities provided by rice farming.