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How much can the Sodsaver Provision in the 2014 Farm Bill save sod? It depends on crop prices.

Established in the 2008 Farm Bill and re-authorized in the 2014 Farm Bill, the Sodsaver Provision aims to dis-incentivize converting native grassland to cropland by restricting crop insurance coverage or premium subsidy to cropland that is newly converted from native sod.  We recently published a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics that […]

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Linkage between Federal Crop Insurance Program and the Conservation Reserve Program: Implications for Budgetary Outlays and Environmental Efficiency

We recently published a study in Land Economics that reveals a potentially significant overlooked budgetary cost savings by linking the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) with the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP). To explain, we will first briefly describe the two programs. Established in 1985, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) involves federal government contracts with farmers […]

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To Harvest Stover or Not: Is it Worth it?

Corn stover is a readily available source of biomass for the production of biofuels. Three U.S. refineries – Poet, Abengoa and Dupont – are converting it at commercial scale to biofuel. These biofuel facilities partner and contract with farmers to procure the stover feedstock used in processing. Farmers face a choice of whether or not […]

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Questioning the Final RFS Rule, Part 3: Reasonableness of the Interpretation

Today’s article completes the discussion of EPA’s final rule for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Parts one and two in this series provided background on the RFS, a general review of the final rule and questioned EPA’s definition of the word ‘supply.’ This article delves into whether EPA’s interpretation in general can be considered reasonable […]

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Questioning the Final RFS Rule, Part 2: the Meaning of the Word “Supply”

This article continues the discussion of EPA’s final rule for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The previous article in this series provided background on the RFS and a general review of the final rule. This article looks specifically at EPA’s interpretation of the word “supply” in the waiver provision “inadequate domestic supply” and what Congress […]

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Questioning the Final RFS Rule, Part 1: the Rule and Background

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently published the final rule that establishes the volume requirements for calendar years 2014, 2015, and 2016 under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Previous discussions about EPA’s arguments for use of the general waiver authority in the RFS statute reviewed a leaked version of the proposed rule and the proposed […]

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Redirected flood waters lead to unintended consequences

An intricate system of basins, channels, and levees called the Headwaters Diversion carries water from the eastern Missouri Ozark Plateau to the Mississippi River south of Cape Girardeau. The system protects 1.2 million acres of agricultural lands in southeast Missouri from both overflow from the Mississippi River during flooding events and from Ozark Plateau runoff. […]

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Wetter Wet Seasons, Drier Dry Seasons Harm Agriculture and Fuel Conflict in Asia

Climate change is set to disrupt weather patterns in many parts of the world. Many places will become hotter on average, some will see more rainfall than they used to, others less. But changes to average temperatures and precipitation are not the only thing we should worry about. Recent evidence shows that, over the past […]

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