REASONABLE VALUE AND THE ROLE OF NEGOTIATION IN AGRICULTURE'S USE OF THE ENVIRONMENT
Richard F. KAZMIERCZAK, Jr.
David W. HUGHES
Social pressures to regulate agriculture's use of environmental resources have been building for many years and show no signs of abating. While the agricultural and environmental communities can react to these events in many ways, perhaps the most promising avenue for resolving joint agricultural and environmental disputes lies with negotiated regulations mediated by governmental agencies. When first conceived by Commons, negotiated regulation was seen as a way to achieve both efficient and equitable dispute resolution by directly using the preferences, skills, and operational knowledge of stakeholders. This approach should be attractive to the agricultural community because it provides an opportunity to educate environmental groups about the complexities facing modern agriculture. It also assures that private business interests are considered in the development of regulations, and should result in regulations that give dynamic flexibility to the way environmental standards are achieved. In today's litigious society, negotiated regulations may also reduce many transaction costs associated with agricultural and environmental issues, particularly those associated with contract development and enforcement. Ultimately, negotiated regulations may be the best hope for satisfying the dual social objectives of a clean environment and an economically viable agricultural sector.
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