2020: Protecting Biodiversity and Air Quality on the Prairie
Decades of agricultural intensification in the U.S. Midwest have resulted in species and habitat loss as well as the degradation of ecosystem services that support healthy human communities. The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the most extensive federal private lands conservation initiative funded through the Farm Bill. This program, which pays farmers to take land out of rotation and establish perennial vegetation, is one of the best opportunities to improve the sustainability of U.S. agriculture. Researchers will contribute to the 2023 Farm Bill reauthorization process by rigorously evaluating improved air quality and conservation of grassland birds, two key co-benefits for biodiversity and human health.