The Role of Conservation Program Design in Drought-Risk Adaptation
Amber Waves, July 2013
13 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2016
Date Written: July 23, 2013
Since USDA conservation programs are voluntary, farmers base their participation decisions on local conditions, among other factors, and those decisions are influenced by the level of local drought risk; this is a form of climate adaptation.
Various aspects of conservation program design — including contract ranking, eligibility requirements, and participation constraints such as national and county enrollment caps — may limit how farmers are able to use these programs to adapt to drought risk; adjustments to any of these provisions will interact with underlying differences between farmers, including differences in exposure to drought risk.
USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program provides a clear example of the interactions between existing climate adaptation and existing program provisions, which are generally designed to serve program goals that are unrelated to encouraging adaptation.
Keywords: drought, conservatoin reserve program, conservation program design, drought risk
JEL Classification: Q25, Q18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation