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Report Highlights State Efforts in Financing Agricultural Conservation

A report released by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) highlights 14 state-level programs that use nontraditional financing mechanisms, including crop insurance discounts and transferable tax credits, to incentivize conservation adoption. Innovative State-Led Efforts to Finance Agricultural Conservation found that states that embrace innovative new ways to finance on-farm conservation can deliver multiple benefits to farmers, state residents, taxpayers, and the environment. For example, farmers benefit from support in adopting conservation practices, which is particularly important in a depressed farm economy. State residents benefit from improved water quality, reduced agricultural water consumption, increased wildlife habitat, and a more resilient food system. Taxpayers benefit from programs that are tailored to states’ specific needs to make more cost-effective use of public dollars. Additionally, the entire country benefits from the incubation of ideas that can be implemented in other states or at the federal level.