Additionality in U.S. Agricultural Conservation Programs A Preliminary Analysis of New Data

Payment programs that incentivize conservation practices on farms produce additional environmental gains only if farmers receiving payments adopt practices that they would not have adopted without the payment. For some conservation practices, the “additionality” of payments may be low if programs do not differentiate between farmers who would only adopt with a payment and those farmers that may find adoption of the practice profitably even without a payment. We use a Propensity Score Matching method to estimate unobserved counterfactual adoption behavior in a nationwide survey of farmers and calculate the level of additionality for five separate conservation payments in the U.S. that target nutrient management, pest management, conservation tillage, soil conservation, and buffer practices. We find high levels of additionality across the five types of conservation payment types, suggesting that these programs are effective in producing environment gains that would not have occurred without payment incentives.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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