Additionality and the Adoption of Farm Conservation Practices

Mariano Mezzatesta, David A. Newburn and Richard T. Woodward

Abstract

We use propensity score matching to estimate additionality from enrollment in federal costshare programs for six practices. We analyze farmer adoption decisions based on farmer survey data in Ohio. We develop a new methodological approach to decompose the average treatment effect on the treated according to relative contributions of voluntary adopters and new adopters. Our results indicate that cost-share programs achieve positive levels of additionality for each practice. But percent additionality varies dramatically between practices. Specifically, percent additionality is highest for hayfield establishment (93.3%), cover crops (90.6%), and filter strips (88.9%), while it is lowest for conservation tillage (19.3%). (JEL Q24, Q28)

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