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

By United States Government Accountability Office

The nation's last grassland has numerous vital merits, corresponding to delivering land for grazing and flora and fauna habitat for lots of at-risk species. in spite of the fact that, 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 very important grassland values, such conversions can result in elevated spending on federal farm courses, comparable to crop assurance, in particular in marginal components. This publication 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 components in manufacturers' judgements to transform grassland to cropland; and, any influence the Sodbuster conservation provision - which areas soil erosion criteria on yes 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

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Crop disaster assistance payments. [16] Table 4 shows the crop disaster assistance payments received by producers in the 16 South Dakota counties with the highest conversion rates in comparison with the payments received by producers in other South Dakota counties. From 1998 to 2004, crop disaster assistance payments in the 16 highest conversion counties totaled more than $195 million (40 percent of the state total), compared with approximately $292 million for the other 50 South Dakota counties, including about $16 million in 7 historically cropped counties in southeast South Dakota.

2) In analyzing crop disaster assistance payments, we did not calculate payments per acre because data on the number of acres that potentially were eligible for these payments were not available. a These counties have not had large increases in crop production in recent years and are located in two adjacent NRCS major land resource areas. According to USDA officials, a possible reason for the relatively high crop insurance and disaster assistance payments in South Dakota counties with the highest conversion rates is that these counties are in areas that are more prone to drought and crop losses than other major crop-producing counties.

For 2007, calf prices are average monthly prices for the first 6 months of 2007, January through June. e Cow prices are bred female prices for “young and middle aged” bred cows from the central region of the United States which includes South Dakota, obtained from Drovers. 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.

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