In addition to defining eligibility, an important issue that public agencies must tackle in designing a land retirement instrument is the choice of a decision rule for selecting the land to be retired. An attempt was made to examine the selection mechanisms used by the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and Conservative Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and to compare the effectiveness of these programs at abating off-site sediment loadings in the La Moine watershed in Illinois. For this purpose, a hydrologic model together with detailed spatial data about location and physical attributes of land parcels enrolled in CRP and CREP in this watershed were considered. Following this, the efficiency of alternative targeting instruments to enroll a given land acreage in CREP from the eligible area in the La Moine watershed was compared. The alternative rules considered include maximizing costs, and maximizing the sediment abatement-to-cost ratio. The potential for using a simple measure of off-site sediment abatement was also examined based on observable characteristics of land parcels to target land for enrollment in CREP. Overall, data indicate that a competitive selection process that takes environmental benefits and rental costs into consideration before enrolling parcels can improve the performance of CREP in Illinois relative to current levels achieved by enrolling parcels of a first-come basis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1248-1255
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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