Cynthia Nickerson

Agricultural Economist


Cindy is an economist in the Farm Economy Branch in the Resource and Rural Economics Division. Her research focuses on the economics of farmland markets and agricultural and natural resource policy. Her current research efforts focus primarily on the causal factors of changes in farmland markets, and include analyses of trends in land uses, changes in farmland values and ownership, and the role of tenure in farm production decisions. Her research also includes the economics of conservation policy design and program participation, and analyses of the impacts of farmland preservation programs.

Current projects:

  • Driving factors of changes in major land uses
  • The impact of ethanol demand on crop acreage patterns
  • Determinants of farmland values
  • The role of tenure in conservation practice adoption
  • U.S. agricultural policies and greenhouse gas emissions
  • Examining informed consent "barriers" to increased use of administrative records for statistical research
  • Ph.D., Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Maryland, 2000.
  • M.S., Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Maryland, 1998.
  • M.S. in Environmental Studies from California State University, 1995.
  • Certified Public Accountant, 1987.
  • B.S., Accounting, Towson University, 1986.
Selected Publications:

Nickerson, C., M. Morehart, T. Kuethe, J. Beckman, J. Ifft, and R. Williams. 2012. Trends in Farmland Values and Ownership. USDA-ERS Economic Information Bulletin 92, February.

Nickerson, C. R. Ebel, A. Borchers, and F. Carriazo. 2011. Major Uses of Land in the United States, 2007. USDA-ERS Economic Information Bulletin 89, December.

O'Donoghue, E., R. Hoppe, D. Banker, R. Ebel, K. Fuglie, P. Korb, M. Livingston, C. Nickerson, and C. Sandretto. 2011. The Changing Organization of U.S. Farming. USDA-ERS Economic Information Bulletin 88, December.

Wallander, S., R. Claassen, and C. Nickerson. 2011. The Ethanol Decade: An Expansion of U.S. Corn Production, 2000-09. USDA-ERS Economic Information Bulletin 79, August.

Wallander, S., R. Claassen, and C. Nickerson. 2011. Where Did the Corn Come From to Fuel the Expansion in Ethanol Production? Amber Waves (September): 56-57.

Nickerson, C. and A. Borchers. 2011. "U.S. Farmland Tenure Patterns: Overview," presented at the Agricultural Outlook Forum, Today's Strategies and Tomorrow's Opportunities, Washington, DC, February 2011.

Nickerson, C. 2011. "Sharing and Linking Data Amongst Federal Agencies: Jumping The Informed Consent Hurdle," Invited Panelist Remarks, NORC Conference on Microdata Access, Washington, D.C., February.

Nickerson, C. 2010. "Addressing the Informed Consent "Barrier" to Sharing and Linking Data." Invited Presentation, FCSM/Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics Statistical Policy Seminar, Washington, D.C., December.

Nickerson, C. 2010. "Integrating Agriculture and Other Land Use Statistics: the U.S. Experience." Presentation at the International Conference on Agricultural Statistics, Kampala, Uganda, October.

Nickerson, C. 2010. Farm Act's Regional Equity Provision May Entail Conservation Tradeoffs, Amber Waves, (December).

Hand, M., and C. Nickerson. 2010. Targeted Farmers in EQIP Operate More Environmentally Sensitive Land, but Address Different Environmental Needs, Amber Waves, Sept.

Nickerson, C., C. Claassen, R. Durst, L. Hansen, D. Hellerstein. 2009. "Cash or Credit? Tax Credits and Conservation Outcomes" Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 64(1):22A-26A.

Ribaudo, M. and C. Nickerson. 2009. "Agriculture and water quality trading: exploring the possibilities." Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 64(1):1-7.

Nickerson, C. "Effectiveness of Land Management Strategies in Peri-Urban Areas: What Economic Studies Have to Say" and "Land Use and Management in Peri-urban Areas: Experiences in the U.S." Invited speaker at workshop Research and Policy frontiers for the Management of Peri-Urban Lands. Brisbane, Australia, July 8, 2009.

Nickerson, C. "Environmental Benefits Index: a Lever for Balancing Multiple Objectives in the U.S. CRP." Two invited presentations at CSIRO, Canberra and Brisbane Australia, June 26, 2009 and July 3, 2009.

Towe, C., C. Nickerson and N. Bockstael. 2008. "An Empirical Examination of the Timing of Land Conversions in the Presence of Farmland Preservation Programs." AJAE, v90(3), August.

Hand, M. and C. Nickerson. 2008. Conservation Access Provisions May Have Little Impact. Amber Waves, November.

Hardie, I., E. Lichtenberg and C. Nickerson. "Regulation, Open Space and the Value of Land Undergoing Residential Subdivision." Land Economics 83(4): 458-474, 2007.

Nickerson, C. and D. Hellerstein. 2007. "Farmland Preservation Programs: Another Tool for Managing Urban Growth?" Amber Waves, April.

Nickerson, C. 2007. "EQIP Funds Vary by ERS Region." Amber Waves, February.

Cattaneo, A*, D. Hellerstein*, C. Nickerson*, and C. Myers. 2006. Balancing the Multiple Objectives in Conservation Programs. USDA-ERS Economic Research Report 19, May.

Nickerson, C. and D. Hellerstein. 2006. "Conservation Programs: Balancing Outcomes with a Selection Index." Amber Waves finding, June.

Nickerson, C. and D. Hellerstein. 2006. "Farmland Preservation Programs and the Importance of Rural Amenities." Chapter 11 in Swallow and Johnston, eds. Economics and Contemporary Land Use Policy: Development and Conservation at the Rural-Urban Fringe. Resources for the Future, Washington, D.C.

Nickerson, C. and C. Barnard. 2006. Farmland Protection Programs. Chapter 5.6 in Wiebe and Gollehon, eds. Agricultural and Resource Economics Indicators, USDA-ERS EIB-16.

Nickerson, C., Hellerstein, D., 2006. "Resource Issues addressed by CRP contracts varies by region," Amber Waves indicator, April.

Nickerson, C. 2004. "Effectiveness of Farm and Ranch Land Protection Programs: What Economic Studies Have to Say." Chapter 3 in What the Public Values about Farm and Ranch Land. Conference proceedings, Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development, State College, PA.

Nickerson, C. and D. Hellerstein. 2003. "Protecting Rural Amenities through Farmland Preservation Programs." Agricultural and Resource Economics Review 32(1):129-44.

Irwin, E., C. Nickerson and L. Libby. 2003. "Rural Amenities: What Farmland Amenities are Worth." Choices, August.

Nickerson, C and D. Hellerstein. "Rural Amenities: A Key Reason for Farmland Protection." Amber Waves, 2003.

Hellerstein, D., C. Nickerson, P. Feather, D. Mullarkey, A. Tegene, J. Cooper, D. Gadsby, and C. Barnard. 2002. Farmland Protection: the Role of Public Preferences for Rural Amenities. USDA-ERS AER No. 815.

Hellerstein, D* and C. Nickerson*. 2002. "Farmland Protection Programs: What Does the Public Want?" Agricultural Outlook (May).

Nickerson, C. and L. Lynch. 2001. "The Effect of Farmland Preservation Programs on Farmland Prices." American Journal of Agricultural Economics 83(2):341-351.

Heimlich, R. and W. Anderson (contributing authors includes C. Nickerson). 2001. "Development at the Urban Fringe and Beyond: Impacts on Agriculture and Rural Land." USDA-ERS AER No. 803 (June).

Nickerson, Cynthia. 2001."Smart Growth: Implications for Agriculture in Urban Fringe Areas." Agricultural Outlook, pp. 25-28 (April).

Last updated: Wednesday, January 15, 2014

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