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

By United States Government Accountability Office

The nation's final grassland has a number of vital advantages, reminiscent of delivering land for grazing and flora and fauna habitat for lots of at-risk species. even though, over the last three centuries approximately 1/2 the grassland has been switched over to different makes use of, mostly cropland. as well as wasting vital grassland values, such conversions may end up in elevated spending on federal farm courses, akin to crop assurance, particularly in marginal parts. This ebook examines: the level of grassland conversions to cropland and the price of farm software funds for those newly switched over cropland acres; the relative significance of farm software funds as opposed to different elements in manufacturers' judgements to transform grassland to cropland; and, any influence the Sodbuster conservation provision - which areas soil erosion criteria on convinced switched over land - has had on restricting grassland conversions. This ebook is an excerpted and edited variation.

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Extra resources for Agricultural Conservation: Converting Grassland to Cropland

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For example, almost all of the officials cited no-till planting as a low-cost management practice that controls soil erosion sufficiently to meet Sodbuster requirements and added that the development of herbicideresistant crops has facilitated producers’ adoption of no-till planting by making it easier to control weeds without using tillage. [24] The survey results for four states with relatively high rates of conversions—Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota—are shown in table 6. As indicated in the table, the majority of officials in three of these states—Montana, Nebraska, and South Dakota—responded that Sodbuster was slightly or not effective in limiting Sodbuster Has Had Little Impact on Native Grassland Conversions 37 native grassland conversion.

2) This table does not include other land-use categories, which did not have large changes during this period. These land-use categories are forest land, water areas, and other rural areas. [1] It gathers information about the nation’s agricultural production and provides agricultural data for every state and county in the United States. Tables 8 and 9 show net changes in uses of land in farms between the years 1978 and 1992, and 1997 and 2002, as reported by the Census of Agriculture. Table 8 shows net changes in land use at the national level, while table 9 shows changes in land use for states that—according to USDA’s National Resources Inventory—have large amounts of rangeland and cropland.

2) The net change in income is the result of comparing the alternate income streams from cropping (corn, soybeans, and spring wheat) versus grazing (cow-calf operation). (3) Both herd liquidation and conversion costs were amortized over a 5-year period from 2003 to 2007 at a 6 percent rate of interest. a While the 2003 to 2006 results are retrospective, the 2007 crop had not been harvested as of July 2007. On the basis of July 2007 crop prices and USDA estimates, we assumed no marketing assistance loan payments would be made for 2007.

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