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Abstract

Agricultural policy in the United States over the last fifteen years has increasingly included conservation aspects starting with the Conservation Reserve Program, Conservation Compliance, Swampbuster, and Sodbuster provisions of the 1985 Farm Bill. Another development is that the Soil Conservation Service has been renamed the Natural Resource Conservation Service, reflecting its expanded mandate. While regulation of nonpoint source pollution has been left to state governments, there are recent developments toward bringing agricultural pollution under federal control. In the future we will see a mix of federal and state policies, increasingly relying on regulation and economic incentives as well as new technologies. A policy of phased implementation of policy instruments is proposed.

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