Agricultural Costs of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load

This study estimates costs to agricultural producers of the Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs) developed by states in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed to comply with the Chesapeake Bay total maximum daily load (TMDL) and potential cost savings that could be realized by a more efficient selection of agricultural Best Management Practices (BMPs) and spatial targeting of BMP implementation. The cost of implementing the WIPs between 2011 and 2025 is estimated to be about $3.6 billion (in 2010 dollars). The annual cost associated with full implementation of all WIP BMPs from 2025 onward is about $900 million. Significant cost savings can be realized through careful and efficient BMP selection and spatial targeting. If retiring up to 25% of current agricultural land is included as an option, Bay-wide cost savings of about 60% could be realized compared to the WIPs.