Long-term acreage retirement and conservation-oriented commodity programs have potential for increasing soil conservation while reducing surplus crop production. Current commodity programs tend to discourage conservation. Retirement of land eroding at the highest rates would save the most soil but cost the Government more than other retirement options. Retirement of surplus crop acres targeted to highly erodible land could be cost-effective for both conservation and commodity program objectives. Cross-compliance would not promise widespread conservation benefits and might reduce commodity program effectiveness, but compliance incentives and modest changes in commodity programs could complement other soil protection measures.