Houston — For the United States, both at home and in its role as a world agricultural leader, combating soil erosion is a complex problem with no pat or easy solution. Research for this series suggests, however, that an effective conservation program should include the following elements:
* Continuation of programs to encourage better soil conservation practices through education, technical assistance, and cost-sharing.
* More government funds to support such practices in areas with critical erosion problems.
* Encouragement of private groups such as the American Farmland Trust and the National Endowment for Soil & Water Conservation, which are mobilizing public support for soil-conservation efforts.
* Increased support for soil conservation research to develop practices that will raise farmers' profits in the short term as well as reap long-term benefits for society.
* Focus on exporting this new soil-conserving technology to third-world nations rather than on exporting grain.