A letter obtained by Politico indicates the Department of Agriculture will not open Conservation Reserve Program acres for crop production. In a letter to the National Grain and Feed Association, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, “Quickly converting this land to crop production is clearly unfeasible.” Vilsack notes that most acres enrolled in CRP are largely non-prime farmland, according to Politico. The letter comes as some lawmakers want to open CRP acres to offset global food worries stemming from the Russia-Ukraine war. On Friday, Senator Macro Rubio, a Florida Republican, and Cynthia Lummis, a Wyoming Republican, penned their own letter to Vilsack requesting the action. They urged Vilsack to allow flexibilities for prime agricultural lands under the Conservation Reserve Program. The Senators write, “Allowing crop production on CRP lands is a critical step for stabilizing food prices that have skyrocketed in recent months.” However, Vilsack says only 1.3 percent of CRP acres are considered prime farmland.
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