The Future of the Conservation Reserve Program

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2015-08-28
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Duffy, Michael
Smith, Darnell
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Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

The Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) conducts innovative public policy and economic research on agricultural, environmental, and food issues. CARD uniquely combines academic excellence with engagement and anticipatory thinking to inform and benefit society.

CARD researchers develop and apply economic theory, quantitative methods, and interdisciplinary approaches to create relevant knowledge. Communication efforts target state and federal policymakers; the research community; agricultural, food, and environmental groups; individual decision-makers; and international audiences.

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The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), enacted in 1985, was the largest single land retirement program in history with current enrollment above 36 million acres. When initially passed in the 1985 Food Security Act, the CRP was intended, primarily, to provide an incentive to remove highly erodible land from production for 10 years. In subsequent years its use was expanded to include, among other objectives, producer income support and the reduction of surplus commodities by restricting production.

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