Soil Erosion: Who Controls Its Future?

With rising commodity prices and increasing recognition of land as a stable investment, agricultural land values have experienced unprecedented increases as evidenced by Iowa recently documenting a $20,000 per acre agricultural land sale. Rising land values and high commodity prices have many implications ranging from limiting opportunities for beginning farmers to devaluing the implementation of conservation practices; potential income losses associated with either real or perceived reduced commodity production drive the conservation practice devaluation. In selected situations, conversations suggest practices are removed simply for operator convenience. From a myopic economic perspective conservation is a cost to the producer or land owner and not an investment in the property.

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