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NGFA report supports removal of farm acres from CRP

The National Grain and Feed Association released a report today that recommends Congress include language in the 2012 farm bill that mandates removal from the conservation reserve program (CRP) of millions of acres of what the Agriculture department classifies as “prime farmland.”

The CRP analysis was conducted by Strategic Conservation Solutions LLC, a firm headed by Bruce Knight, a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service chief in the George W. Bush administration.

The CRP pays farmers to idle land for conservation reasons, but NGFA member companies, which sell inputs and ship farm products, have never been enthusiastic about the program because keeping land out of production reduces the need for their products and services.

NGFA said the acreage should be taken out “in response to federal budget pressure and the need to access more acres to respond to growing demand for food, feed, biofuels and exports.”

The Senate farm bill would reduce allowed CRP acreage from 32 million to 25 million acres.