Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

August 1993


Published in Great Plains Research 3:2 (August 1993). Copyright © 1993 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


American agriculture faces many difficult and often conflicting challenges. It is expected to satisfy growing demands for agricultural commodities both at home and abroad at reasonable prices to consumers without impairing the productivity of the nation's cropland, exceeding the sustained yield of the country's water resources, or degrading the quality of the environment.

There is ample evidence that farmers have not fully achieved these goals. But can they? If not, are there policies that would still create an improvement in the status quo? The Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University has been at the forefront of the effort to answer these questions. This book is a carefully integrated collection of studies that illustrate CARD's accomplishments to date.

The studies described were done over about a IS-year period, beginning in the early 1970s. Neither the problems addressed nor the models used to analyze them, however, are out-dated. In fact, this volume should be on the reading list of policy analysts struggling today with the conflicts between production, conservation, environmental quality, and regional equity.