Using data from a survey of farm operators in two Virginia counties, the authors analyze farmers' soil conservation decisions. Results indicate that financial factors, including income and debt, are the most important influences on the sample farmers' use of conservation practices. Additional factors such as perception of erosion, education level, off-farm employment, and tenancy also influence conservation expenditures. Factors influencing conservation tillage acreage differ from those influencing expenditures for other conservation practices. In particular, age and race of the operator and on-farm erosion potential are significantly related to the use of conservation tillage but not other practices. These results are discussed in terms of their implications for conservation programs.


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