Download Agricultural Conservation: Converting Grassland to Cropland by United States Government Accountability Office PDF

By United States Government Accountability Office

The nation's final grassland has numerous very important merits, similar to supplying land for grazing and flora and fauna habitat for lots of at-risk species. although, during the last three centuries approximately 1/2 the grassland has been switched over to different makes use of, largely cropland. as well as wasting vital grassland values, such conversions may end up in elevated spending on federal farm courses, comparable to crop coverage, specifically in marginal components. This e-book examines: the level of grassland conversions to cropland and the price of farm software funds for those newly switched over cropland acres; the relative value of farm application funds as opposed to different components in manufacturers' judgements to transform grassland to cropland; and, any impression the Sodbuster conservation provision - which locations soil erosion criteria on convinced switched over land - has had on proscribing grassland conversions. This ebook is an excerpted and edited variation.

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Additional resources for Agricultural Conservation: Converting Grassland to Cropland

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If such land is converted to crop production, it would be permanently ineligible for a wide range of farm program payments, including direct and countercyclical, marketing assistance loan, conservation, disaster assistance, and crop insurance payments. According to USDA’s proposal, Sod Saver is needed because, among other things, grasslands provide important ecological functions and the rate of conversion to cropland could increase greatly over the next several years as increased production of biofuels boosts the demand for corn and other crops.

A The full name of this category is Pastureland and rangeland, other than cropland and woodland pastured. Table 9. 4 United States Government Accountability Office 52 Table 9. (Continued). 1 Source: GAO’s analysis of NASS’s Census of Agriculture data. Appendix IV PARTIAL BUDGET ANALYSIS FOR A PROPOSED CONVERSION OF NATIVE GRASSLAND TO CROPLAND IN CENTRAL SOUTH DAKOTA, 2003-2007 To assess the economic incentives to convert native grassland to cropland at the farm level, we used a partial budget analysis and a “constructed” farm scenario for a 160-acre tract in Hand County, South Dakota—a central South Dakota county that was relatively high in 2005 and 2006 conversions of grassland that had no cropping history.

We did not attempt to evaluate the social, environmental, and wildlife habitat costs and benefits of this conversion. Furthermore, although crop prices are projected to continue to rise over the next several years, the likelihood of prices remaining at such high levels, especially in conjunction with high levels of production, may not materialize. In the absence of data on future weather patterns, yields, and commodity prices, we did not project future rates of return. Moreover, we did not project future rates of conversion because we cannot speculate on many of the factors that enter into producers’ land use decisions, such as their aversion to risk in the presence of significant potential crop yield variability, although the stabilizing effect of crop insurance would tend to lessen risk concerns, especially compared to livestock grazing.

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