Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Burger, W. Loren

Committee Member

Barbour, J. Philip

Committee Member

Riffell, K. Samuel

Committee Member

Martin, W. Steve

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Wildlife and Fisheries Science

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Forest Resources


Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture


United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Bill conservation programs provide landowner incentives to remove less productive and environmentally sensitive lands from agricultural production and re-establish them in natural vegetation to achieve conservation objectives. However, removal of arable land from production imposes an opportunity cost associated with loss in revenue from commodities that otherwise would have been produced. The Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds practice (CP-33) under the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program is a targeted conservation practice designed to increase northern bobwhite populations in agricultural landscapes. However, establishing CP-33 buffers on profitable farmland may be incompatible with economic objectives of landowners. To determine how CP-33 enrollment influenced field profitability and bobwhite abundance; I simulated CP-33 buffers on crop fields across a range of commodity prices and modeled profitability and predicted bobwhite abundance. CP-33 increased field revenue on a percentage of fields at all commodity prices and increased bobwhite abundance up to 30%.