Abstract

Soil surveys and the information they provide are commonly believed to be good investment, with significant benefits accrued to their users. To date, the empirical evidence for this comes from studies that have shown how enhanced soil information can alter agricultural practices to yield higher returns. This study attempts to estimate the economic value of soil information generated by a host of new proximal and in situ geophysical methods for the assessment of the following soil properties: carbon content, water content, clay content, bulk density, and soil depth. The study also adopts a novel approach to the economic valuation of soil information by employing for the first time a choice experiment to estimate the willingness-to-pay (WTP) of potential users of the digital maps and their features. The choice experiment took the form of an online survey, administered to about a thousand individuals from the wider soil community. The results reveal significant WTP for maps of high resolution and accuracy that offer map interpretation in addition to a number of soil properties.

You do not currently have access to this article.