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

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By United States Government Accountability Office

The nation's ultimate grassland has a number of very important advantages, equivalent to supplying land for grazing and flora and fauna habitat for lots of at-risk species. even if, 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 can result in elevated spending on federal farm courses, equivalent to crop coverage, specially in marginal components. This booklet examines: the level of grassland conversions to cropland and the price of farm application 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 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 version.

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16 million acres. 35 million acres. Table 5. 00 Source: GAO’s analysis using data from South Dakota State University, NRCS, NASS, RMA, FSA, and Drovers’ Inc. Notes: (1) We assumed a decision was made to convert to crop production in 2003 and carried forward through 2007. (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.

In addition, a cattle industry official we spoke with expressed concern that farm program payments encourage conversions and subsidize crop production, putting cattle producers at a disadvantage relative to crop producers in the competition for land. In a May 29, 2007, Sodbuster Has Had Little Impact on Native Grassland Conversions 39 letter, a coalition of representatives from Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota wildlife organizations and agencies responded to arguments against the Sod Saver proposal.

Notes: (1) We assumed a decision was made to convert to crop production in 2003 and carried forward through 2007. (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.

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