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Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station)

Abstract

Soil conservation is one of the more basic and complex agricultural problems which face individual farmers and society. Given the physical means of preventing soil erosion, both are faced with questions of (1) the level of conservation which is economic and (2) the economic means of attaining the desired level of conservation. Long-range conservation policy should consider two types of conservation practices or plans: (1) Those which are profitable both to society and the individual farmer and adoption of which may be brought about by education and technical assistance. (2) Those which are economic to society but are unprofitable to the individual and which can be attained only as institutions are altered or as public assistance is put into effect. The individual farm is a focal point in either case. Cost and returns must be determined for the individual farm as a management or decision-making unit before complete evaluation can be made of alternative approaches to soil conservation.

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