How to use this website
This website is intended to challenge you
to imagine the possible future of agricultural landscapes. Future
agricultural landscapes are a consequence of decisions being
made in agricultural and environmental policy today.
Can you imagine how the Corn Belt landscape
could look 25 years from now? We did! This website will show
you how Corn Belt watersheds could look in 2025, and describe
what policy goals could encourage the changes you will see. As
you browse this site, you will learn how we arrived at the images
of the future.
Landscape images that are consequences
of different policy assumptions
To study the future effects of federal agricultural
and environmental policy on agricultural landscapes, three alternative
landscape scenarios for two Corn Belt agricultural watersheds
were used to provide precise landscape images. The landscape
scenarios describe the landcover of each watershed in the year
2025. Each assumes different alternative policy emphases that
could be adopted early in the 21st century, different relative
public values and concerns, and different market conditions.
The scenarios were designed to be a provocative but plausable
basis for imagining future directions for federal agricultural
policy. While none is a prescription, each draws out some of
the implications of different potential policy emphasis. The
scenarios in no way define a range of choices for agricultural
policy. Rather they are intended to provoke consideration of
some consequences of choices that could be made.