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About Sod Saver

Sod Saver, the one that got away is a paper by Nicholas Shaull about the fate of the Sod Saver bill. The paper was originally written for a writing course at Drake University where Nicholas is a law student. (He will graduate in May, 2009.)

One of the recurring problems with government programs is that they can unintentionally create disfunctional incentives. Case in point: The farm program is structured so that it pays to break native prairie and convert it to cropland regardless of the suitability of the land for farming. As a result the prairie is in this region is rapidly disappearing.

The Sod Saver provision was an addition to Food, Conservation, and Energy bill of 2008 that was intended to remove the incentives for destroying the prairie. The paper describes the problems, what the provision was for and how it worked, and what happened to it in the meat grinder of politics.

Not only is the paper well written; it also provides a wealth of thoroughly documented information. It has attracted considerable attention from people who are concerned about what is happening to the prairies.


This page was last updated May 1, 2009.

Richard Harter's World
Site map
May 2009
Prairie
email