Tufts OpenCourseware
Authors: Kathleen Merrigan, Ph.D., William Lockeretz, Ph.D.


Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) : Status and Current Issues. Jeffrey Zinn, Congressional Research Service 97-673 ENR ( May 8 2001). http://ncseonline.org/NLE/CRSreports/Agriculture/ag-65.pdf.

Environmental Benefits Index, USDA Farm Service Agency Fact Sheet. ( September 1999).

Past USDA Conservation Programs, chart from USDA Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indicators. Chapter 6. (August 2000).

Conservation Security Program. Review program Site at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp/index.html.

Key Questions

  • What were the objectives of CRP when it was introduced in 1985?
  • How have the criteria for lands to be enrolled in CRP evolved over time?
  • How did different interest groups perceive CRP when it was the time for deciding the future of the program in 1993?
  • What were the general procedures for land enrollment into CRP in 1996?
  • What was the difference between general and continuous enrollment?
  • How were states involved in CRP?
  • What have been the estimated conservation benefits of CRP?
  • What does one make of the trend pertaining to EBI of the successive sign ups of lands into CRP, as estimated by FSA?
  • How are the lands to be managed once their CRP contracts expire?
  • What were the major changes that were expected with reference to CRP with the 2002 Farm Bill?
  • What has been a major change with reference to calculating EBI after the 2002 Farm Bill?
  • What are the two new initiatives that have been announced under the CRP?
  • What are the major points of the debate regarding the positive and negative aspects of the CRP?

Supplementary Readings

Conservation Reserve Program: Status and Current Issues. Barbara Johnson, Congressional Research Service ( February 4, 2005). http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org/assets/crs/RS21613.pdf

ERS Report Summary. Conservation Compatible Practices and Programs: Who Participates? Dayton Lambert, Patrick Sullivan, Roger Claassen, and Linda Foreman ( February 2006). http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/err14/err14_reportsummary.pdf

Agricultural Economic Report 834. ERS. The Conservation Reserve Program. Economic Implications for Rural America. Sullivan et al. (September 2004). http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/aer834/aer834fm.pdf