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The Farm Act's Regional Equity Provision: Impacts on Conservation Program Outcomes

Author

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  • Nickerson, Cynthia J.
  • Ribaudo, Marc
  • Higgins, Nathaniel

Abstract

The 2002 and 2008 Farm Acts increased funding for conservation programs that provide financial assistance to farmers to implement conservation practices on working farmland. Along with seeking cost-effective environmental benefits, these programs have a goal of spreading conservation funding equitably across States. The 2002 and 2008 Farm Acts strengthened this allocative goal by setting a minimum threshold for conservation funding for each State—one that exceeds historical funding for some States—for enrolling agricultural producers in specified conservation programs. This study uses conservation program data to examine evidence of the impacts of the Regional Equity provision of the 2002 Farm Act, and explores the tradeoffs that can occur among conservation program goals when legislation gives primacy to fund allocation. The study found that cross-State shifts in funding reduced the acres receiving conservation treatment for many resource problems, but increased the net economic benefits from treatments on some of them. Overall impacts on the types of producers enrolled were small.

Suggested Citation

  • Nickerson, Cynthia J. & Ribaudo, Marc & Higgins, Nathaniel, 2010. "The Farm Act's Regional Equity Provision: Impacts on Conservation Program Outcomes," Economic Research Report 95452, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uersrr:95452
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.95452
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/95452/files/ERR98.pdf
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    1. repec:oup:revage:v:29:y:2007:i:2:p:247-268. is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Key, Nigel D. & Kaplan, Jonathan D., 2007. "Multiple Environmental Externalities and Manure Management Policy," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 32(1), pages 1-20, April.
    3. Dustin L. Pendell & Jeffery R. Williams & Scott B. Boyles & Charles W. Rice & Richard G. Nelson, 2007. "Soil Carbon Sequestration Strategies with Alternative Tillage and Nitrogen Sources under Risk," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 29(2), pages 247-268.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wainger, Lisa A. & Van Houtven, George & Loomis, Ross & Messer, Jay & Beach, Robert H. & Deerhake, Marion, 2013. "Tradeoffs among Ecosystem Services, Performance Certainty, and Cost-efficiency in Implementation of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 42(1), pages 1-29, April.
    2. Talberth, John & Selman, Mindy & Walker, Sara & Gray, Erin, 2015. "Pay for Performance: Optimizing public investments in agricultural best management practices in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 252-261.

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    Keywords

    Agricultural and Food Policy; Environmental Economics and Policy; Resource /Energy Economics and Policy;

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