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Abstract

In recent years, the Federal Government has increased its emphasis on conservation programs that reward good stewardship on working farmland. This report examines the business, operator, and household characteristics of farms that have adopted certain conservation-compatible practices, with and without financial assistance from government conservation programs. The analysis finds that characteristics of the farm operator and household, in addition to the characteristics of the farm business, are associated with both the likelihood that a farmer will adopt certain conservation-compatible practices and the degree to which the farmer participates in different types of conservation programs. For example, operators of small farm operations and operators not primarily focused on farming are less likely to adopt conservation-compatible farming practices that are management-intensive and to participate in working-land conservation programs than operators of large enterprises whose primary occupation is farming.

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