Thursday, February 08, 2007

Harkin has concerns about CRP coming online

Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, who serves as chair of the Senate Ag Committee raised concerns today about the probable release of a number of acres of farmland that is currently in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). It is very likely with the increase in crop prices that some land will be put back into production.

Harkin told Agriculture Online Thursday that he wants to be consulted by Johanns before USDA releases land from the CRP and that he wants Johanns "to be very careful" about how this is done.

Harkin said that there are three types of land enrolled in the CRP. The first, which is mainly steep, erodible land that can't be farmed, will stay in the program, he said. The third category is flat land in the CRP that could be converted to crop production with little loss of soil.

"That land is going to come out," Harkin said. "With the prices of corn and beans...there is no way that land is going to stay in the CRP."

He expects farmers to be willing to pay some penalties to take the most productive CRP land out of the program in order to raise crops.

No comments: