An article in the latest issue of Amber Waves from the USDA Economic Research Service focuses on how agricultural policy affects land use and the environment.

Economic forces and policy changes encourage producers to shift less productive, or "marginal," cropland in and out of production.

Because marginal lands are also environmentally sensitive along several dimensions, cropland shifts have environmental, as well as economic, effects.

Thus, agricultural and conservation programs that affect land use likely have more profound effects on erosion and some other environmental factors than on production.

Full story: Agricultural Policy Affects Land Use and the Environment in the USDA Economics Research Service publication Amber Waves.

SOURCE: USDA news release.