This report considers how increased commodity prices might
influence enrollment in and benefits from the Conservation Reserve
Program (CRP) using two complementary models: a likely-to-bid model
that uses National Resources Inventory data to simulate offers to
the general signup portion of the CRP and an opt-out model that
simulates retention of current CRP contracts. Under several higher
crop price scenarios, including one that incorporates 15 billion
gallons of crop-based biofuels production, maintaining the CRP as
currently configured will lead to significant expenditure
increases. If constraints are placed on increasing rental rates, it
might be possible to meet enrollment goals with moderate increases
in CRP rental rates-but this will mean accepting lower average
Environmental Benefits Index scores as landowners with profitable
but environmentally sensitive lands choose not to enroll.
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