Agriculture, Conservation, and the Environment: A Unified Policy

Chad E. Hart, Darnell B. Smith
May 1994  [94-BP 3]

Download Full Text

Suggested citation:

Hart, C.E. and D.B. Smith. 1994. "Agriculture, Conservation, and the Environment: A Unified Policy." Briefing paper 94-BP 3. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University.


As another Farm Bill approaches in 1995, agricultural, conservation, and environmental groups will again negotiate domestic agricultural policies. From past meetings have come such compromise solutions as the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and conservation compliance. The upcoming Farm Bill debate could present a rather unique twist. The Iowa Plan (Iowa Farm Bill Study Team 1994), a proposal to reform federal farm policy, has the potential for substantial budget savings (a rarity in today's political society) over current programs. Thus, if the Iowa Plan is adopted, negotiations will turn to the appropriation of the budget savings. This paper demonstrates how these savings could be used to benefit agriculture, conservation, and the environment. Several market-driven approaches to address agricultural-environmental conflicts are presented. From these, a proposal is made to promote agriculture, conservation, and the environment through "green payments" from agriculture's budget savings under the Iowa Plan.