In a study conducted with collaboration and support from the American Farmland Trust, Kathleen Merrigan, PhD, and a team of graduate students from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, explore the impact of the current CSP on farmers in New England. The study explores whether CSP works in New England and makes recommendations for program reforms.
The research team's findings and conclusions are presented in a report entitled "The Conservation Security Program: Rewards and Challenges for New England Farmers." The report is based on eight case studies of real or hypothetical CSP contracts, including dairy, cranberry, apple, and organic and conventional vegetable farms. These contracts represent typical New England farm types and crops.
"The CSP, which provides US farmers significant financial payments, was designed to address both international concerns about trade distortion and domestic concerns about the environmental impact of agriculture," says Merrigan, assistant professor at the Friedman School and director of the Agriculture, Food and Environment Program and the Center for Agriculture, Food and Environment. Merrigan adds, "In our case studies, farmers enrolled in the CSP could expect to receive as little as eight dollars an acre to as much as 45 dollars an acre for participation. Whatever the amount, we want to make sure the money is well spent."
Merrigan says that good land stewardship practices include managing the quality of soil and water. "For example, by rotating the feeding and watering areas of the
Contact: Siobhan Gallagher