“The Wisconsin Farm Bureau wishes to work with our congressional delegation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to promptly provide an early-out, penalty-free option for non-environmentally sensitive CRP cropland,” Bruins concluded.
Additional Information on the Conservation Reserve Program
* The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) was created in the 1985 U.S. Farm Bill to address environmental goals as well as to reduce crop production in order to stabilize crop prices.
* With a 2007 budget of almost $2 billion, CRP is the largest federally funded conservation program.
* CRP acreage ballooned in 2007 to an all-time high of just under 37 million acres. Today, over 31 million acres are now enrolled. The program is capped at 32 million acres. It’s unclear whether enrollment will get back to 32 million acres as contracts on 4.4 million acres are set to expire on September 30. Many predict total acreage is likely to decrease as some non-environmentally sensitive fields are returned to growing crops.
* A sign-up period for new CRP contracts begins March 14 for contracts that start this fall.
* There are approximately 400,000 acres in Wisconsin that are enrolled in either CRP or the similar Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program.
Source: Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation