Natural Resources

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

By United States Government Accountability Office

The nation's final grassland has numerous very important merits, reminiscent of supplying land for grazing and natural world habitat for lots of at-risk species. although, over the last three centuries approximately 1/2 the grassland has been switched over to different makes use of, largely cropland. as well as wasting very important grassland values, such conversions can result in elevated spending on federal farm courses, corresponding to crop assurance, in particular 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 elements in manufacturers' judgements to transform grassland to cropland; and, any effect the Sodbuster conservation provision - which locations soil erosion criteria on definite switched over land - has had on proscribing grassland conversions. This ebook is an excerpted and edited version.

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Extra info for Agricultural Conservation: Converting Grassland to Cropland

Example text

Specifically, we analyzed crop insurance and crop disaster assistance payments data in relation to 2005 and 2006 data on conversions of grassland that had no prior cropping history to cropland for all South Dakota counties. We selected South Dakota counties because conversion data were available by county for 2005 and 2006, and conversions have received considerable attention in the state. In conducting our analysis, we assumed that the counties with the most acres converted during those years were indicative of the counties with the most conversions during 1997 through 2006.

66 per acre net payment received in South Dakota’s remaining 50 counties. [15] Available Data Show Conversion of Native Grassland… 23 Table 3. 11 7 selected historically cropped countiesb State totals Crop years 1997 to 2006 Total Per acre Source: GAO’s analysis of RMA’s data. Note: Net crop insurance payments are the indemnity payments that producers received less the premiums and administrative fees that producers pay. We did not include government costs resulting from (1) payments to insurance companies for underwriting gains and administrative and overhead expenses and (2) the cost of RMA operating expenses in this analysis because countylevel data on these costs were not available.

For 2007, bred female prices are average monthly prices for the first 5 months of 2007, January through May. Chapter 5 SODBUSTER HAS HAD LITTLE IMPACT ON NATIVE GRASSLAND CONVERSIONS Sodbuster has had little impact in limiting the conversion of native grassland to cropland, in part because much of the native grassland converted in recent years is not highly erodible and therefore not subject to Sodbuster. According to USDA officials, even in most cases where Sodbuster applies, the costs associated with Sodbuster compliance have not been enough to deter producers from converting the land.

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