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United States Farm Commodity Programs and Land Use

Bruce Gardner, Ian Hardie and Peter J. Parks

American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 2010, vol. 92, issue 3, 803-820

Abstract: We estimate the impact of government payments on United States land use, using county-level data from the National Resources Inventory and the Census of Agriculture in 1987, 1992, and 1997. Although payments were made under decoupled support programs, effects on land use are found to be significant. On average for the years studied, our simulations indicate that United States cropland acreage would have been 89 million acres (22%) less if program payments had been reduced to half their observed level (holding market prices of commodities constant). Percentage reductions are largest in marginal crop producing areas of the nation. Copyright 2010, Oxford University Press.

Date: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:92:y:2010:i:3:p:803-820