The USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP):
The USDA CRP was authorized by the Food Security Act of 1985 and nationwide enrollment was capped at 45,000,000 acres. CRP offers annual payments for 10-15 year contracts to participants who establish grass, shrub and tree cover on environmentally sensitive lands. It was reauthorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, although Congress did gradually reduce the total number of acres allowed in the program from 39.2 million acres in 2009 to 32 million by 2011.
Reducing acreage from the CRP will allow farmers to better react to market demands by freeing up traditional wheat lands currently under contract.. With additional lands to farm, farmers will be able to supply the world with wheat and other essential food staples to help feed every-growing demand.
ABA believes non-environmentally sensitive acreage has erroneously been contracted into the CRP and supports releasing this land for food and feed crop production.
Congress is currently drafting the next Farm Bill and may be forced to cut funding to many programs, including CRP. President Obama’s 2013 budget calls for a reduction of two million acres from CRP in one year, saving the federal government over $800 million dollars over the next ten years.