Timber Subsidies Like “Crack for the Agricultural Community”

The U.S. government’s Conservation Reserve subsidy program started with the best of intentions.
Responding to a short-term plunge in crop prices in the mid-1980s, the U.S. government offered distressed farmers a temporary subsidy payment if they would take some of their cropland out of production and plant trees instead. Farmers would benefit from the income from the subsidy and from higher crop prices from the reduced supply of crops they continued to grow. Then, after the planted trees matured, the farmers who also became foresters would be able to harvest the timber they had grown and would have a new source

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