A proposed Yield Reserve Program designed to compensate farmers for any reduced yields resulting from reduced nitrogen (N) application rates below recommended rates is evaluated. Assuming that farmers currently follow extension recommendations for applying N, Yield Reserve Program participation reduces expected net revenue by $10 to $13/ha. The Yield Reserve Program reduces expected net revenue by $17 to $20/ha for farmers who apply N to maximize expected net revenue. Farmers' costs of participation increase with lower probabilities of inadequate rainfall and higher corn prices and decline with higher N prices. The Yield Reserve Program can significantly reduce N applications to cropland, which may reduce N content of surface waters, but the costs to taxpayers and farmers will depend on how the program is implemented.