Conservation Reserve Program in the Presence of a Working Land Alternative: Implications for Environmental Quality, Program Participation, and Income Transfer, The

Hongli Feng, Catherine L. Kling, Lyubov A. Kurkalova, Silvia Secchi, Philip W. Gassman
August 2005  [05-WP 402]

The United States has invested large sums of resources in multiple conservation programs for agriculture over the past century. In this paper we focus on the impacts of program interactions. Specifically, using an integrated economic and bio-physical modeling framework, we consider the impacts of the presence of working land programs on a land retirement for an important agricultural region—the Upper Mississippi River Basin (UMRB). Compared to a land retirement only program, we find that the presence of a working land program for conservation tillage results in significantly lower predicted signups for land retirement at a given rental rate. We also find that the presence of both a large working land and land retirement program can result in more environmental benefits and income transfers than a land retirement only program can achieve.

Keywords: Conservation Reserve Program, conservation tillage, environmental quality, income transfer, working land programs.

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