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Abstract

Farmers who grow annual crops on converted wetlands, a practice popularly known as swampbusting, will be denied all farm program benefits under the Food Security Act of 1985. Denying price supports to operators converting wetlands can be an effective sanction in some situations, but may be less effective where tax breaks are the main motive for conversion. Although remaining wetlands may be productive if converted, high conversion costs probably make most wetlands unprofitable to convert. Further, the high social value of existing wetlands may outweigh the value of increased agricultural production through conversion, particularly in wetland areas critical for wildlife habitat.

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