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Should We Pay Farmers Not to Grow Crops?

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Should We Pay Farmers Not to Grow Crops?

The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) was established under the Conservation Title of the 1985 Food Security Act and is still in place today. This program which intended to assist with possible environmental problems is one that is beneficial to the farmers and our country's environment and therefore should stay in effect. However, it should be examined how this program is being conducted to ensure that the original objectives are being met today and with maximum efficiency.

When the CRP was established in 1985 as a voluntary acreage retirement program, there were seven stated objectives that were introduced as well. 'The stated objectives of the CRP are to (a) reduce water and wind erosion, (b) protect our long-term capability to produce food and fiber, (c) reduce sedimentation, (d) improve water quality, (e) create better habitat for fish and wildlife through improved food and cover, (f) curb production of surplus commodities, and (g) provide needed income support for farmers' (Boggess and Reichelderfer 111). The program also was subject to the constraints of having a minimum of 5 million acres enrolled by 1986 and at least 10 million acres by 1989. It was also specified that no more than 25% of any one specific county's cropland can be enrolled in the program at the same time. (Boggess and Reichelderfer 111). In order to be qualified for the program owners and operators who currently farm 'highly erodible' land may apply for program funding. According to Dana Hoag and Herb Holloway, highly erodible land is defined as 'having an erodibility index greater than or equal to 8' (185).

The main benefits of this program include the extra income for the farmers and the positive env...

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... and Katherine Reichelderfer. ?Government Decision Making and Program Performance: The Case of the Conservation Reserve Program.? American Journal of Agricultural Economics. February 1988. 111-121.

Buchholtz, Shawn, and Michael J. Roberts. ?Slippage in the Conservation Reserve Program or Spurious Correlation? A Comment.? American Journal of Agricultural Economics. February 2005. 244-250.

Hoag, Dana L., and Herb A. Holloway. ?Farm Production Decisions Under Cross and Conservation Compliance.? American Journal of Agricultural Economics. February 1991. 184-193.

Smith, Rodney B.W. ?The Conservation Reserve Program as a Least-Cost Land Retirement Mechanism.? American Journal of Agricultural Economics. April 2005. 52-67.

Wu, Jun Jie. ?Slippage Effects of the Conservation Reserve Program.? American Journal of Agricultural Economics. November 2000. 979-992.
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