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Concerns about soil erosion, air and water quality, wildlife habitat and environmental protection have resulted in the rapid expansion of conservation-related programs. Generally, the benefits associated with these conservation programs accrue to society as a whole, rather than just to those specific individuals who incurred costs from the implementation of a conservation-related program. For these individuals, costs may exceed benefits. To encourage increased participation in conservation-related activities, payments may be made to producers, rural landowners, and others by federal, state, and local governments and private institutions.

This fact sheet identifies six types of conservation-related payments and expenditures and discusses how they are handled for income and self-employment tax purposes by operating farmers, share lease landowners, cash rent landowners and non-farm landowners. Many of these programs are administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), formerly the Soil Conservation Service, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Overviews and detailed information on these programs are available at


Rural Tax Education

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conversion, payments, expenditures


Education | Higher Education | University Extension

Conservation-Related Payments and Expenditures