Conservation Land at Risk

Reader Contribution by Heidi Hunt

Recently, it has been suggested that Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land be taken out of the program and put into corn production. According to the Natural Resources Conservation Services, a branch of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), “the Conservation Reserve Program reduces soil erosion, protects the Nation’s ability to produce food and fiber, reduces sedimentation in streams and lakes, improves water quality, establishes wildlife habitat, and enhances forest and wetland resources. It encourages farmers to convert highly erodible cropland or other environmentally sensitive acreage to vegetative cover, such as tame or native grasses, wildlife plantings, trees, filterstrips, or riparian buffers. Farmers receive an annual rental payment for the term of the multi-year contract. Cost sharing is provided to establish the vegetative cover practices.”

The USDA estimates that CRP land reduces greenhouse gas equal to taking 11 million cars off the road.

You can read more on this debate on the Environmental Working Group‘s blog, hosted by EWG president Ken Cook. Plus, learn how you might enroll your land in the CRP program.