Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a new conservation reserve program (CRP) that will offer financial incentives for farmers to enroll up to 1 million new acres of grasslands and wetlands into the program. About 6.5 million acres under current contracts are set to expire Sept. 30.
The new program focuses on encouraging land to be set aside for wetlands restoration, increasing enrolled land by 200,000 acres.
“There’s recognition that we’re likely to have fewer conservation programs, but hopefully we have enough flexibility in the programs that remain to be able to meet and tailor conservation programs and projects to the individual needs of the operators and the individual needs of particular watersheds,” U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in an Associated Press report.
The new programs and incentives are aiming to maintain the level of erodible farmland in the CRP program at the current level of about 30 million acres, according to Vilsack.