This article reviews farmer participation in the Federal crop insurance program, which has been promoted as a replacement for ad hoc disaster assistance. Despite increased participation in crop insurance disaster assistance has been enacted. This article discusses the government costs of the crop insurance program, mainly premium subsidies, and how crop insurance participation varies by type of farm and region.
Welcome to the literature area of the FIC Web site. Here you will find a collection of articles, books, fact sheets and technical memos, reports and studies related to saving farm and ranch land and supporting agriculture. You can filter by state, topic and/or type of document ("category"). Use the Search feature to conduct a more refined search.
From a speech given at the spring workshop of the American Agricultural Editors' Association in Washington, DC.
Spending involves a choice about the kind of future we want to have. This publication explains why we should care about our spending choices when it comes to food and sustainability. The report provides a new approach to analyzing the economics of the food system, new support for developing strong local linkages, and new strategies for taking action to grow the local food economy. We find that locally directed spending supports a web of relationships, rooted in place, which serves to restore the land and regenerate community.
From a speech given as a Keynote Address for a session on Public Involvement in the Planning Process, in Lincoln, Nebraska.
This fact sheet provides basic information about the importance of American agriculture to the economy, environment, and rural communities.
In communities across the nation, there is a growing concern that current development patterns— dominated by what some call “sprawl”—are no longer in the long-term interest of our cities, existing suburbs, small towns, rural communities, or wilderness areas. Though supportive of growth, communities are questioning the economic costs of abandoning infrastructure in the city, only to rebuild it further out. They are questioning the social costs of the mismatch between new employment locations in the suburbs and the available work-force in the city. They are questioning the wisdom of abandoning “brownfields” in older communities, eating up the open space and prime agricultural lands at the suburban fringe, and polluting the air of an entire region by driving farther to get places. Spurring the smart growth movement are demographic shifts, a strong environmental ethic, increased fiscal concerns, and more nuanced views of growth. The result is both a new demand and a new opportunity for smart growth.
Rural areas in the United States stand to benefit from new highway funding legislation, especially the South. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) authorizes sharply increased funding for major roads and is the single largest public works bill in U.S. history. Over a 6-year period, it will provide $171 billion to build new roads, widen lanes, put in new interchanges, and construct bridges. Under TEA-21, some spending discrepancies will be addressed and resolved for States that contribute more money into the Federal Highway Trust Fund than they receive in benefits.
This article examines how crop prices have fueled a rebound in farm financial conditions and maintained the health of farm balance sheets--and explores the risks to the farm rebound in 2007.
On November 6, 2001, nearly 1.3 million voters in 14 states approved state and local ballot measures that generated $905 million in funding for new land protection. But in Ohio, open space measures were defeated in four counties, including a purchase of development rights (PDR) program in Wayne County, where a well-designed and locally supported campaign
seemed destined to succeed. What happened, and what lessons can be learned to improve the chances of future campaigns?
One of the most effective methods for protecting key agricultural areas from the effects of urban sprawl has been to offer farmers the opportunity to be compensated for voluntarily agreeing not to subdivide or develop their property, known as purchase of development rights (PDR), or purchase of agricultural conservation easements (PACE). As PACE programs gain favor in agriculture communities, the limited capacity of states and local agencies to satisfy the demand for PACE has meant that many farmers who need cash have little choice but to sell land for development. Urban sprawl creates pressure on prime farmland, which results in the loss of environmental benefits from keeping farmland in agricultural production. PACE programs, a “win-win” proposition, are operated by both states and local jurisdictions, usually with a local committee of farmers who help decide which farmland is targeted for protection. Altogether, state agencies and local governments have invested more than $664 million to protect almost 400,000 acres of generally high-quality farmland, however, for every farmer who has been able to take advantage of an alternative to development, another six landowners are waiting in line to sell agricultural conservation easements. Clearly, states and localities need help in meeting farmers’ demands for a viable alternative to development, and the federal government, through conservation programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, should and must become part of the solution through expansion of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and through changes in the 1995 Farm Bill.
Wisconsin is at a turning point. The extensive farmland that established our character as the dairy state is rapidly disappearing to development in many parts of the state. The forested lands that built our paper and recreation industries are being sold as small, private lots. These changes
are essentially irreversible, and are accelerating.However, they are not inevitable results of economic growth and population increases. On the
contrary, it is the way we choose to use our lands that leads to these losses. We can markedly improve our economic growth, public services, and quality of life by using our lands more wisely and by helping the agricultural industry increase farm profitability. It is easier to protect farmland when the farm operations on the land are profitable.
Surveys of Wisconsin citizens show that high percentages of citizens favor protection of farm and forestlands and preservation of the rural character of their towns and counties. We are in danger of missing an important opportunity to shape the future of Wisconsin. Working lands remain central to the economic growth of the state, to our quality of life, and to the
environment. However, we have allowed our policy tools to become outdated and underpowered. In the 1970s, Wisconsin was a national leader in farmland preservation when it enacted the Farmland Preservation Program. Since then, Wisconsin has changed markedly. Our working
lands toolkit has not. As a result, landowners, local governments, and state policy makers are not able to take the actions necessary to capitalize on the opportunities offered by working lands and to avert the threats to working lands.
While women own 25% of the acres rented out for farming, little has been done in terms of federal policy that focuses on these women. In this policy analysis, we detail how (1) lack of data on these women landowners and (2) the invisibility of these women to federal natural resource and agricultural agency staff contribute to women nonoperating landowners (WNOLs) not being on the federal policy radar. We discuss how the persistence of these factors continues to marginalize WNOLs in federal agricultural policy, despite the mandate of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies to be serving underserved populations such as WNOLs. Our study findings clearly illustrate a critical point: federal agricultural/conservation agencies are not fulfilling their mandate to reach WNOLs. Using data from USDA Production Regions in the United States, we detail how WNOLs are marginalized and provide specific policy recommendations to allow for intentional inclusion of these women.
This manual is intended to give users an overview of the rationale and methodology for targeting outreach to non-operator women landowners, particularly those 65 and older who now control a significant percentage of US farmland. It also provides a number of conservation demonstration activities, which range from very simple to more complex, both in concept and execution.
American Farmland Trust (AFT) and Utah State University (USU) have set out to learn as much as we can about women who own farmland and lease it out (women non-operating landowners or WNOLs). Women tend to be deeply committed to healthy farmland, farm families and farm communities. However, limited research indicates that WNOLs face more gendered barriers than male NOLs to managing their land for long-term sustainability. The long-term goal of our efforts is to enhance resource management on agricultural land by providing information to policymakers and natural resource agencies that will help them design more effective resource management and land protection programs for WNOLs.
This case study looks at the importance of agriculture to the community of Woodstock Connecticut and the reciprocal importance and support of that community to agriculture. It also documents both typical and creative steps that have and can be undertaken to support and conserve agriculture, shared community values and the land as examples for other communities.
Designed to give land trusts and land conservationists sound ideas to incorporate into their efforts to protect ranchlands from inappropriate development. Summarizes the experiences and viewpoints of organizations that have been among the most successful at protecting both open land and working ranches. Culmination of much work by the Working Ranchland Conservation Easement Learning Circle, a group of experts assembled by LTA to look at one of the pressing issues in land conservation.
According to a June 2002 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on military training, 80% of communities surrounding military installations are growing faster than the national average. This rapid pace of urban growth into rural areas around military installations and ranges presents two sets of problems. First, as residential and commercial development ncreases in areas near military installations, people may experience more aircraft over-flights, dust, and noise from military activities. Second, important military training exercises may be compromised due to incompatible land use adjacent to or near installations and ranges.
Farming, ranching, and forestry can be very compatible with military land use. Preserving working lands on the perimeter of military installations can help sustain military training and testing by buffering them from residential development and other incompatible uses. Open space provided by these buffers allows continued access to training and testing ranges, night vision exercises, artillery practice, supply drops, and parachute jumps – crucial training to ensure our troops train as they fight. Additionally, open space maintains habitat for threatened and endangered species.
DoD is working with key stakeholders to encourage more compatible land use around military installations and ranges. Collaborative partnerships with residential and commercial growth interests, conservation organizations, and state and local governments facilitate preservation of open space, agricultural lands, and endangered and threatened species habitats.
From a speech given at the 96th New Jersey Farmers' Week in Trenton, New Jersey.