Document Type


Publication Date



farm bill, farm policy, agri-environmental programs


U.S. farm legislation is due to be updated in 2007, to become effective with the 2008 crop year. Major questions surround the role of environmental or conservation provisions in the new Federal farm bill. In this paper, I first present some background on the evolution of U.S. 'agri-environmental policies'-policies encompassing conservation of agriculture's natural resources and agriculture's impact on the environment. I follow that with a brief discussion of the concept of' multifunctionality' in agriculture, a concept that increasingly is driving discussions of agri-environmental policy options in Europe and the U.S. The subsequent section of the paper contains discussion of four broad alternative approaches to agri-environmental policy in the next farm bill. Then, there are sections on each of three specific agri-environmental programs and sets of policies: the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, the Conservation Security Program, and policies to support organic agriculture. I conclude the paper with my observations on prospects for fundamental reforms related to agri-environmental policies in the next farm bill.


Department of Economics, South Dakota State University

Series Number


Number of Pages