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ENVIRO-NEWS  July 2006

ENVIRO-NEWS July 2006

Subject:

AMBER WAVES, SPECIAL ISSUE, JULY 2006--a closer look at the relationship between agriculture and the Nation's land, air, water, and biological resources.

From:

"Makuch, Joe" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Makuch, Joe

Date:

Wed, 12 Jul 2006 15:07:44 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (128 lines)

From: (Subject) Announcements of new natural resources and environment
items at USDA ERS
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of
USDA ERS E-Mail Updates Service
Sent: Friday, July 07, 2006 3:11 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: New Natural Resources & Environment information @ ERS


New or updated information is available from USDA ERS on Natural
Resources & Environment. See new items in all topics at
http://www.ers.usda.gov/whatsnew/
This update covers Monday, July 3, 2006 to Friday, July 7, 2006 

AMBER WAVES, VOLUME 4, SPECIAL ISSUE, JULY 2006 
This special issue of Amber Waves, the magazine of the USDA's Economic
Research Service (ERS), provides a closer look at the relationship
between agriculture and the Nation's land, air, water, and biological
resources. The issue contains reprints and updates of articles and
statistics highlighting: conservation policy and program design, impact
of conservation programs on farmers and the environment,
cost-effectiveness of conservation programs, and emerging issues, such
as environmental credits. 
Released Friday, July 7, 2006 
See http://www.ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/July06SpecialIssue/ 

LAND RETIREMENT AND WORKING-LAND CONSERVATION STRUCTURES: A LOOK AT
FARMERS' CHOICES
All sizes and types of farms have adopted conservation practices and
installed conservation structures. Programs that support a wide range of
alternative conservation practices are more likely to match the wide
range of interests of farmers. Recent ERS research suggests that farms
and farm households that install working-land conservation
structures-such as contour strips or grass waterways-often differ from
those that retire farmland. 
Released Friday, July 7, 2006 
See
http://www.ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/July06SpecialIssue/Features/LandRetir
ement.htm 

ENVIRONMENTAL CREDIT TRADING: CAN FARMING BENEFIT?
Environmental credit trading is a market-based approach to complying
with regulations with the potential to achieve pollution abatement goals
at least cost to society. Agriculture can contribute to credit trading
programs by generating pollution-reduction credits through the adoption
of environmentally preferred practices and selling the credits to
regulated firms. 
Released Friday, July 7, 2006 
See
http://www.ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/July06SpecialIssue/Features/Trading.h
tm 

MEASURING THE SUCCESS OF CONSERVATION PROGRAMS
Due to the influence and interactions of many factors, evaluation of
conservation programs is a data-intensive and technically challenging
process. This article provides an overview of the steps necessary for
evaluating the success of conservation program. These steps must address
two questions: 1) How do different farm operators in different
circumstances decide what production and conservation practices to
implement, in the presence and absence of the conservation program being
evaluated, at different levels of incentives provided by that program?;
and 2) How do the farm practices attributable to conservation program
incentives affect environmental quality? 
Released Friday, July 7, 2006 
See
http://www.ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/July06SpecialIssue/Features/Measuring
.htm 

IMPROVING AIR AND WATER QUALITY CAN BE TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN 
Agricultural production practices have generated a variety of substances
that enter the atmosphere and have the potential of creating health and
environmental problems. The air in some farming communities can be as
impaired by pollutants such as ozone and particulates as air in urban
areas. Two challenges for reducing air emissions from agriculture are
potential inter-relationships with water quality, and a lack of
information on farm-level emissions needed for effective regulation and
management. 
Released Friday, July 7, 2006 
See
http://www.ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/July06SpecialIssue/Features/Improving
.htm 

FARMLAND RETIREMENT'S IMPACT ON RURAL GROWTH
The Feature "Farmland Retirement's Impact on Rural Growth" addresses an
unintended consequences of high levels of enrollment in the CRP, that of
farmland retirement's impact of rural growth. To examine this issue,
this article examines the local socioeconomic changes that accompanied
CRP enrollment in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and discusses ERS
analysis of the potential employment and output changes if all land
currently enrolled in the program could be put to other uses, given the
current distribution of land, prevailing commodity market conditions,
and public policies. 
Released Friday, July 7, 2006 
See
http://www.ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/July06SpecialIssue/Features/Farmland.
htm 

EMPHASIS SHIFTS IN U.S. CONSERVATION POLICY
This article describes the policy shift in the 2002 Farm Bill toward
increased funding of conservation policies, and shifting conservation
priorities. The share of conservation funds allocated to working lands
(land used for crop production or grazing) will increase, a modest
increase in retirement programs will focus largely on wetland
restoration, and the role of benefit-cost targeting in working land
programs will be reduced, potentially reducing the cost-effectiveness of
these programs. 
Released Friday, July 7, 2006 
See
http://www.ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/July06SpecialIssue/Features/Emphasis.
htm 



***********************************************
Enviro-News is a service of the Water Quality
Information Center at the National Agricultural
Library.  The center's Web site is at
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The Enviro-News list facilitates information exchange.
Inclusion of an item in Enviro-News does not imply
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nor does USDA attest to the accuracy or completeness of
the item. (See http://www.nal.usda.gov/listserv.html.)
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