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Flexible Conservation Measures on Working Land: What Challenges Lie Ahead?

Author

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  • Cattaneo, Andrea
  • Claassen, Roger
  • Johansson, Robert C.
  • Weinberg, Marca

Abstract

From 1985 to 2002, most Federal conservation dollars going to farm operators have been to retire land from crop production. Yet most U.S. farmland (850 million acres) remains in active production. The Farm Security and Rural Investment (FSRI) Act of 2002 sharply increased conservation funding and earmarked most of the increase for working-land payment programs (WLPPs). The design and implementation of WLPPs will largely determine the extent to which environmental goals are achieved and whether they are cost effective. We simulate potential environmental gains as well as adjustments in agricultural production, price, and income associated with various WLPP features to illustrate tradeoffs arising from WLPP design and implementation. Competitive bidding with the use of environmental indices to rank producers for enrollment is most cost effective. Payments based on past conservation will help support farm incomes, but limit the amount of additional environmental benefit that can be generated under a fixed budget.

Suggested Citation

  • Cattaneo, Andrea & Claassen, Roger & Johansson, Robert C. & Weinberg, Marca, 2005. "Flexible Conservation Measures on Working Land: What Challenges Lie Ahead?," Economic Research Report 7248, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uersrr:7248
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.7248
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/7248/files/er050005.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Greenhalgh, Suzie & Taylor, Michael A. & Selman, Mindy & Guiling, Jenny, 2008. "Reverse Auctions: Are they a Cost-Effective Alternative to Traditional Agricultural Conservation Spending?," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6192, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    2. Claassen, Roger & Duquette, Eric, 2012. "Additionality in U.S. Agricultural Conservation Programs A Preliminary Analysis of New Data," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124721, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Robert C. Johansson & Andrea Cattaneo, 2006. "Indices for Working Land Conservation: Form Affects Function," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 28(4), pages 567-584.
    4. Dobbs, Thomas L., 2006. "Working Lands Agri-environmental Policy Options and Issues for the Next United States Farm Bill," Staff Papers 060003, South Dakota State University, Department of Economics.
    5. Goldman, Rebecca L. & Thompson, Barton H. & Daily, Gretchen C., 2007. "Institutional incentives for managing the landscape: Inducing cooperation for the production of ecosystem services," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 333-343, December.
    6. Dobbs, Thomas L., 2006. "Working Lands Agri-environmental Policy Options and Issues for the Next United States Farm Bill," Economics Staff Papers 32013, South Dakota State University, Department of Economics.
    7. Claassen, Roger & Cattaneo, Andrea & Johansson, Robert, 2008. "Cost-effective design of agri-environmental payment programs: U.S. experience in theory and practice," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 737-752, May.
    8. Zilberman, David & Segerson, Kathleen, 2012. "Top Ten Design Elements to Achieve More Efficient Conservation Programs," C-FARE Reports 156623, Council on Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics (C-FARE).
    9. Claassen, Roger & Duquette, Eric & Horowitz, John & Kohei, Ueda, 2014. "Additionality in U.S. Agricultural Conservation and Regulatory Offset Programs," Economic Research Report 180414, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    10. Johansson, Robert & Peters, Mark & House, Robert, 2007. "Regional Environment and Agriculture Programming Model," Technical Bulletins 184314, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    11. Nickerson, Cynthia J. & Hand, Michael S., 2009. "Participation in Conservation Programs by Targeted Farmers: Beginning, Limited-Resource, and Socially Disadvantaged Operators' Enrollment Trends," Economic Information Bulletin 55641, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.

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    Keywords

    Land Economics/Use;

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