Agriculture conservation policy focus of economic report series

Reports highlight issues important to 2012 Farm Bill discussion

The Conservation Crossroads in Agriculture report series has been released by the Council on Food, Agriculture and Resource Economics, and features an initial four reports authored by top economists from around the country on key aspects of conservation policy. Each report is intended to help inform discussion on the 2012 Farm Bill and elevate the importance of conservation as a major economic issue during the current policy discussions.

“The changes made to conservation programs as part of the current policy context will have profound effects on our nation’s ecosystems, natural habitats, water quality and other critically important ecosystem services for decades to come,” said Damona Doye, chair of the council and farm management specialist at Oklahoma State University. “Just as importantly, these changes will also impact the livelihoods, farming productivity and well-being of rural communities across the nation. The Conservation Crossroads in Agriculture series is designed to provide unbiased, high-level analysis from esteemed economists so that decision-makers have the most reliable, timely and actionable information available to them as they make these important decisions.”

The reports highlight four areas currently being discussed in the context of the Farm Bill:

  • Designing maximum-benefit, cost-efficient conservation programs;
  • The economic and environmental implications of reducing the Conservation Reserve Program;
  • The impact of crop insurance subsidies on conservation choices and land use; and
  • Examining the relationship of the changing federal incentive structure for the Conservation Compliance programs and the future impact of the program.

The council plans to issue more reports in the future as part of the ongoing series.