Attachment B 60-day Federal Register Notice

Attachment B Federal Register Notice.pdf

Conservation Auction Behavior: Effects of Default Offers and Score Updating

Attachment B 60-day Federal Register Notice

OMB: 0536-0078

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Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 4 / Thursday, January 7, 2021 / Notices

represent minorities, women, and
persons with disabilities.

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Member Nominations
Any interested person or organization
may nominate qualified individuals for
membership. Interested candidates may
nominate themselves. Individuals who
wish to be considered for membership
on the Urban Ag Advisory Committee
must submit a nomination with
information, including a background
disclosure form (Form AD–755).
Nominations should be typed and
include the following:
1. A brief summary, no more than two
pages, explaining the nominee’s
qualifications to serve on the Urban Ag
Advisory Committee and addressing the
criteria described above.
2. A resume providing the nominee’s
background, experience, and
educational qualifications.
3. A completed background disclosure
form (Form AD–755) signed by the
nominee https://www.ocio.usda.gov/
sites/default/files/docs/2012/AD-755Approved_Master-exp-3.31.22_508.pdf.
4. Any recent publications by the
nominee relative to urban agriculture or
innovations in urban agricultural
production (if appropriate).
5. Letters of endorsement (optional).
Send typed nominations to Ronald
Harris, Designated Federal Officer,
Director of Outreach and Partnerships,
Natural Resources Conservation Service,
Department of Agriculture, 1400
Independence Avenue SW, Room 6006–
S, Washington, DC 20250; telephone:
(202) 720–6646; email: [email protected]
usda.gov. Ronald Harris, the Designated
Federal Officer, will acknowledge
receipt of nominations.
Equal Opportunity Statement
To ensure that recommendations of
the Urban Ag Advisory Committee take
into account the needs of underserved
and diverse communities served by the
USDA, membership will include, to the
extent practicable, individuals
representing minorities, women, and
persons with disabilities. USDA
prohibits discrimination in all of its
programs and activities on the basis of
race, sex, color, national origin, gender,
religion, age, sexual orientation, or
disability. Additionally, discrimination
on the basis of political beliefs and
marital status or family status is also
prohibited by statutes enforced by
USDA (not all prohibited bases apply to
all programs). Persons with disabilities
who require alternate means for
communication of program information
(Braille, large print, audio tape, etc.)
should contact USDA’s Technology and
Accessible Resources Give Employment

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Today Center at (202) 720–2600 (voice
and TDD). USDA is an equal
opportunity provider and employer.
Dated: December 28, 2020.
Cikena Reid,
Committee Management Officer, USDA.
[FR Doc. 2020–29077 Filed 1–6–21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410–16–P

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Economic Research Service
Notice of Intent to Request New
Information Collection
Economic Research Service,
USDA.
ACTION: Notice and request for
comments.
AGENCY:

In accordance with the
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and
Office of Management and Budget
(OMB) implementing regulations, the
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Economic Research Service (ERS)
invites the general public and other
Federal agencies to take this
opportunity to comment on a proposed
new information collection for a study
of ‘‘Conservation Auction Behavior:
Effects of Default Offers and Score
Updating.’’

SUMMARY:

Written comments on this notice
must be received on or before March 8,
2021 to be assured of consideration.
ADDRESSES: Address all comments
concerning this notice to Steven
Wallander, Rural and Resource
Economics Division, Economic Research
Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture,
1400 Independence Ave. SW, Mail Stop
1800, Washington DC 20250–0002.
Submit electronic comments to
[email protected] .
All written comments will be
available for public inspection during
regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00
p.m. (Eastern time), Monday through
Friday). To arrange access to the
comments, contact Steven Wallander at
the email address listed above.
All responses to this notice will be
summarized and included in the request
for Office of Management and Budget
approval. All comments and replies will
be a matter of public record. Comments
are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed
collection of information is necessary
for the proper performance of the
functions of the agency, including
whether the information shall have
practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the
agency’s estimate of the burden of the
proposed collection of information,
including the validity of the
DATES:

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methodology and assumptions used; (c)
ways to enhance the quality, utility, and
clarity of the information to be
collected; and (d) ways to minimize the
burden of the collection of information
on those who are to respond, including
use of appropriate automated,
electronic, mechanical, or other
technological collection techniques or
other forms of information technology.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For
further information contact Steven
Wallander at the mailing address listed
above or by phone: (202) 694–5546.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title:
Conservation Auction Behavior: Effects
of Default Offers and Score Updating.
OMB Number: To be assigned by
OMB.
Expiration Date: Three years from
approval date.
Type of Request: New information
collection.
Abstract: In accordance with the
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub.
L. 104–12) and OMB regulations at 5
CFR part 1320 (60 FR 44978, August 29,
1995), this notice announces USDA
Economic Research Services’ intention
to request approval from the Office of
Management and Budget (OMB) for a
new data collection effort.
This data collection will use an online
simulated auction experiment with
former participants in the USDA
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
general signup and university students
to (1) study the anchoring effect of using
a high-scoring default offer in the CRP
enrollment software rather than an
active-choice default, and (2) study how
the timing of information about final
ranking score in the software influences
responsive to baseline ranking scores.
Outputs for the experiment will be used
to inform potential updates to the CRP
software and enrollment software as
well as future lab experiments on
general conservation auctions.
USDA’s Conservation Reserve
Program (CRP) enrolls environmentally
sensitive cropland in long-term
contracts. Enrolled landowners receive
annual rental payments for establishing
the approved conservation vegetative
cover and not farming the land. Most
land is enrolled through the CRP
General Signup, a multi-unit, sealedbid, reverse auction. Offers are ranked
on both quality and price. Participants
can increase the probability that their
offer is accepted by agreeing to a higher
quality conservation cover practice or
lowering their asking price (annual
payment). By encouraging better
practices and lower payments, the
auction design improves the cost
effectiveness of the CRP.

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Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 4 / Thursday, January 7, 2021 / Notices
The CRP general signup is a fairly
complex decision environment in which
participants must decide whether to
select one of several dozen possible
higher cost but higher scoring practices
and whether to ask for lower annual
rental payments in order to increase the
likely that their offer is accepted into
the program. A larger literature in other
domains finds that in complex decision
environments the initial option
presented can have a significant
anchoring effect in which final choices
are closer to that default option than
they would be otherwise. The current
CRP general signup software uses an
‘‘active choice’’ default, in which the
cover practice and annual rental choices
are initially blank. Additional literature
on complex decision-making
environments finds that the way in
which information is provided can
influence outcome. The current CRP
general signup software provides
participants with their ranking score at
the end of a series of offer selection
screens. Providing live updating of that
score earlier in the software could make
respondents more sensitive to the
underlying program incentives.
Using a stylized version of the
enrollment software to create a
simulated (artefactual) CRP auction, the
study will experimentally test the
impacts on final practice and payment
offers from two behavioral
interventions: (i) A high-quality default
starting offer; and (ii) live updates on
the offer score at the point of offer
selection. In addition, to assess the
external validity (generalizability) of
conducting experiments with students,
a common practice in the literature on
conservation auction design, this study
will run the experiment with both a
sample of university students (drawn
from the full population of
undergraduate and graduate students at
the University of Delaware) and a
sample of former participants in the
General Signup to test whether the two
populations respond differently to the
behavioral interventions.
The information to be collected in this
proposed initiative is necessary to test
the expected behavioral responses to
these changes in the auction
information environment. Such
responses cannot be estimated using
observational data because there is not
systematic variation in the information
environment. In addition, such
responses cannot be estimated using
mathematical programming models
because the underlying psychological
drivers of anchoring effects are highly
context specific. By using experiments,

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we will be able to identify whether the
effects observed in other complex
decision-making environments are also
likely in the context of a large
conservation auction like the CRP. We
plan to use these experiments to inform
possible future redesigns of the CRP
general signup software and enrollment
process by the Farm Service Agency
(FSA), future experiments using
simulated conservation auctions, and
the overall effort to extrapolated from
the larger literature on conservation
auction experiments that relied
primarily on students as subjects.
Participation in this experiment will
be voluntary, and subjects will be
recruited using multiple waves of mail
and email communications. During each
session, subjects will participate in four
rounds of a conservation auction: One
practice round and three actual rounds.
Within each round, subjects will be
assigned a different field for potential
enrollment and, based on the
characteristics of that field, will make a
decision about which conservation
cover practice to select and what annual
rental payment to ask for. Sessions will
be conducted using an on-line auction
portal developed by the University of
Delaware. Participants can sign into the
web page and make their offers at any
point during a two-week enrollment
period. Recruitment will occur in
multiple waves until the required
number of subjects is met.
Each session will last for an average
30 minutes, including watching an
introductory video that explains the
auction rules and software. Subjects will
receive a show-up fee of $10. In
addition to the show-up fee, subjects
will receive compensation based on the
decisions they make during the course
of the experiment. After the enrollment
period for each recruitment wave closes,
one of the three auction rounds will be
randomly selected and the highestranking offers will be ‘‘accepted’’ and
receive a virtual payment. The number
of winning offers will depend upon the
complete pool of bids. Higher quality
and lower cost offers will be more likely
to get accepted but will receive lower
payments if they are accepted. Payment
levels are higher for the farmer
population than for the student
population since the lower level of
incentives for students is one of the
major reasons that many conservation
auction studies use only a student
population. We expect the winning bids
to receive an average of $40 for farmers
and $15 for students, not including the
show-up fee. In designing our
experimental procedures and payment

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levels, we took into consideration
academic standards, statistical power
considerations, budgetary limitations,
and discussions between OMB and ERS
regarding this and other approved
experimental research.
Authority: These data will be
collected under the legal authority of 7
U.S.C. 2204(a).
ERS intends to protect respondent
information under the Privacy Act of
1974 and 7 U.S.C. 2276. ERS has
decided not to invoke the Confidential
Information Protection and Statistical
Efficiency Act of 2002 (CIPSEA). The
complexity and cost necessary to invoke
CIPSEA is not justified given the nature
of the collection; the collection will be
conducted by the University of
Delaware and hosted in non-government
owned computer systems, where
CIPSEA compliance cannot be assured.
Affected Public: Half of the
respondents will be farmers or farmland
owners who previously participated in
at least one CRP general signup. The
other half will be students at the
University of Delaware.
Estimated Number of Respondents
and Respondent Burden: Since
recruitment will occur through multiple
waves to reach the target number of
participants, the total respondent
burden for participation time will be
constant and the total respondent
burden for recruitment will depend
upon the participation rate. Under lower
participation rates, the respondent
burden of recruitment is higher. Since
students will be recruited through email
and farmers will be recruited through
mail, the burden per subject for
recruitment is slightly lower (3 minutes)
for students than for farmers (5
minutes). For all subjects who opt to
participate, the expected time to
complete the experiment online is 30
minutes.
Under a conservative assumption that
the participation rate will be 10 percent
of the sampled population for farmers
and 25 percent of the sampled
population for students, the public
respondent burden for this information
collection is estimated to be 2,033
hours. The calculations are shown in
the table below based on a sample of
10,000 farmers that results in 1,000
farmer participants and a sample of
4,000 students that results in a sample
of 1,000 student participants. At higher
participation rates of 20 percent for
farmers and 33 percent for students, the
total respondent burden would be 1,567
hours.

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Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 4 / Thursday, January 7, 2021 / Notices
SAMPLE BURDEN HOURS: 10% RESPONSE RATE FOR FARMERS, 25% RESPONSE RATE FOR STUDENTS
Responses
Sample size

Minutes/
response

Count
Farmer Population:
Recruitment ................................................
Participation ...............................................

Count

Minutes/
response

Subtotal
burden
hours

Total
burden
hours

10,000
....................

1,000
1,000

5
30

83.3
500.0

9,000
....................

5
....................

750.0
....................

833.3
500.0

Total ....................................................
Student Population:
Recruitment ................................................
Participation ...............................................

....................

....................

....................

....................

....................

....................

....................

1,333.3

4,000
....................

1,000
1,000

3
30

50.0
500.0

3,000
....................

3
....................

150.0
....................

200.0
500.0

Total ....................................................

....................

....................

....................

....................

....................

....................

....................

700.0

Total Both Populations ................

....................

....................

....................

....................

....................

....................

....................

2,033.3

Comments: Comments are invited on:
(a) Whether the proposed collection of
information is necessary for the proper
performance of the functions of the
Agency, including whether the
information will have practical utility;
(b) the accuracy of the Agency’s
estimate of the burden of the proposed
collection of information, including the
validity of the methodology and
assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance
the quality, utility, and clarity of the
information to be collected; (d) ways to
minimize the burden of the collection of
information on those who are to
respond, including through the use of
appropriate automated, electronic,
mechanical, or other technological
collection techniques or other forms of
information technology. Comments
should be sent to the address in the
preamble. All responses to this notice
will be summarized and included in the
request for OMB approval. All
comments will also become a matter of
public record.
Spiro Stefanou,
Administrator, Economic Research Service.
[FR Doc. 2021–00004 Filed 1–6–21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410–18–P

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Forest Service
Black Hills Resource Advisory
Committee
Forest Service, USDA.
Notice of meeting.

AGENCY:
ACTION:

The Black Hills Resource
Advisory Committee (RAC) will conduct
a virtual meeting. The committee is
authorized under the Secure Rural
Schools and Community SelfDetermination Act (the Act) and
operates in compliance with the Federal
Advisory Committee Act. The purpose
of the committee is to improve

SUMMARY:
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Non-Response
Subtotal
burden
hours

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collaborative relationships and to
provide advice and recommendations to
the Forest Service concerning projects
and funding consistent with Title II of
the Act. RAC information can be found
at the following website: https://
www.fs.usda.gov/detail/blackhills/
workingtogether/advisorycommittees/
?cid=STELPRD3807565.
DATES: The meeting will be held on
Thursday, January 28, 2021, at 5:30 p.m.
All meetings are subject to
cancellation. For updated status of
meeting prior to attendance, please
contact the person listed under FOR
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
ADDRESSES: The meeting will be held
virtually along with a conference call
line. For virtual meeting information,
please contact the person listed under
For Further Information Contact.
Detailed instructions on how to attend
the meeting virtually will be sent out via
email with a news release
approximately one week prior to the
meeting.
Written comments may be submitted
as described under Supplementary
Information. All comments, including
names and addresses, when provided,
are placed in the record and available
for public inspection and copying. The
public may inspect comments received
at the Mystic Ranger District Office.
Please call ahead to facilitate entry into
the building.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Kelly Warnke, Committee Coordinator,
by phone at 605–716–1978 or by email
at [email protected]
Individuals who use
telecommunication devices for the deaf
(TDD) may call the Federal Information
Relay Service (FIRS) at 1–800–877–8339
between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.,
Eastern Standard Time, Monday
through Friday.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The
purpose of the meeting is to further
review and recommend projects for

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funding under the Secure Rural School
allocations to Custer, Lawrence, and
Pennington Counties for 2017, 2018 and
2019.
The meeting is open to the public.
The agenda will include time for people
to make oral statements of three minutes
or less. Individuals wishing to provide
comments with regards to this meeting’s
agenda and for comments to be included
with the meeting minutes/records,
comments must be submitted in writing
by Friday January 22, 2021. Anyone
who would like to bring related matters
to the attention of the committee may
file written statements with the
committee staff before or after the
meeting. Written comments must be
sent to Kelly Warnke, Mystic Ranger
District, 8221 Mount Rushmore Road,
Rapid City, South Dakota 57702; by
email to [email protected], or via
facsimile to 605–343–7134.
Meeting Accommodations: If you are
a person requiring reasonable
accommodation, please make requests
in advance for sign language
interpreting, assistive listening devices,
or other reasonable accommodation. For
access to the facility or proceedings,
please contact the person listed in the
section titled For Further Information
Contact. All reasonable accommodation
requests are managed on a case-by-case
basis.
Dated: 1/4/2021.
Cikena Reid,
USDA Committee Management Officer.
[FR Doc. 2021–00024 Filed 1–6–21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3411–15–P

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Office of Partnerships and Public
Engagement
Public 2501 Stakeholder Call
AGENCY:

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OPPE, USDA.

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