by Ben Nuelle LISTEN: Money Matters-9-14-16
Farmers across Iowa are raising concerns about landlords enrolling their entire farms in Conservation Reserve Program or CRP for rental rates well above what the cash rent market will pay today.
Senator Chuck Grassley traveled across the state during his August recess from congress.
He says he’s talked to a lot of farmers concerned about enrollment in CRP.
“Many young and beginning farmers have complained landlords are enrolling farms in CRP for rental rates well above what the cash rent market will pay today. In addition to being outbid by the government on price, concerns have been raised about the program enrolling entire farms in highly productive farmland.”
Grassley says this is exactly the type of farmland you hope young farmers get a chance to operate and try to build equity.
“It also means marginal farmland is still in production somewhere else. The whole point of CRP is to idle marginal ground. I am sending a letter to Secretary Vilsack raising the issues farmers have brought to you in your town meetings.”
He adds USDA’s focus should be on enrolling marginal quality ground in the CRP program first. Grassley continues saying the CRP program is good for agriculture but like many programs keeping it to the original takes consistent oversight.