Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version

July 2004


Published in Cornhusker Economics, 07/21/2004. Produced by the Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


The 1985 Food Security Act linked farm program payments to the conservation ofsoil throughout the United States by tying producer eligibility for commodityprogram payments to the adoption of certain on-farm resource conservation activities on highly erodible lands (HEL). By requiring producers who receive government payments to adopt conservation practices on HEL, this policy (HEL policy, hereafter) seeks to address the inconsistency between commodityprograms that increase production and environmental programs designed to decrease environmental problems from expanded production.l