Overview: Policies focused on economic growth…
NGFA federal policy priorities focus on issues vitally important to the economic growth and competitiveness of all sectors of the commercial grain, grain processing, feed and feed ingredient, and export industry, as well as end-users of grains and grain products, including processors, flour millers, livestock and poultry operations, and biofuels manufacturers.
Conservation Reserve Program
The NGFA believes the CRP should be targeted at the most environmentally sensitive portions of farms, and avoid enrollment of whole farms or large tracts of productive farmland. The CRP’s blunt, 30-year-old general sign-up process enrolls whole farms while also eliminating opportunity for beginning farmers and harming agricultural communities that depend on farming. Currently, almost ¼ of the 24 million acres in CRP is on what is considered “prime” farmland. The NGFA also notes that many of rural America’s local economies are driven by agricultural production. Enrolling whole farms in CRP detracts from the economic viability of those local economies.
One-page summary of how to improve the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).
Click on the counties below to see how a more targeted CRP program could help local economies.
- Baca County, Colorado
- Brown County, South Dakota
- Dawson County, Texas
- Huron County, Michigan
- Kittson County, Minnesota
- Lincoln County, Washington
- Ness County, Kansas
- Starke County, Indiana
- Union County, Illinois
- Wayne County, Iowa
Even though half of the land in Baca County, Colorado, is dedicated to native pasture and grassland, the next largest chunk of land in the county is idled in the government’s conservation program -- the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).
Read more about CRP in Baca County.
If CRP operated as a working lands program that truly targeted the most environmentally sensitive land, Brown County would be allowed to reap the full economic benefits of its productive farmland while also conserving natural resources.
Read more about CRP in Brown County.
The NGFA advocates for conservation practices that improve the resources needed for an agricultural economy to thrive – principally, soil and water. However, none of the CRP acres in Dawson County are maintained with practices mean to directly improve soil and water quality. In 2016, all 92,900 acres of CRP land in the county were idled primarily for wildlife habitat.
Read more about CRP in Dawson County.
Some CRP acres in Huron County have the potential to generate substantial economic activity, but are being idled in the USDA program. The government paid $136 for an acre in CRP in 2016, but an acre planted to corn in Huron County had the potential to generate $1,146 of economic activity (including expenses and revenue).
Read more about CRP in Huron County.
CRP’s intended purpose is to pay farmers to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production. When whole farms are enrolled in CRP as in Kittson County, the local economy suffers and productive farmland – which could be enhanced with targeted conservation practices – is wasted.
Read more about CRP in Kittson County.
Even though CRP acres contribute far less to the local economy, in 2015, more than 164,000 acres in the country were idled in CRP.
Read more about CRP in Lincoln County.
For the 3,000 people in Ness County, Kansas, wheat and sorghum farming is the top economic driver and the backbone of the community.
Read more about CRP in Ness County.
Some CRP acres in Starke County have the potential to generate substantial economic activity, but are being idled in the USDA program. The government paid $161 for an acre in CRP in 2016, but an acre planted to corn in Starke County had the potential to generate $1,283 of economic activity (including expenses and revenue).
Read more about CRP in Starke County.
Some CRP acres in Union County have the potential to generate substantial economic activity, but are being idled in the USDA program. The government paid $95 for an acre in CRP in 2016, but an acre planted to corn in Union County had the potential to generate $1,283 of economic activity (including expenses and revenue).
Read more about CRP in Union County.
In Wayne County, Iowa, one acre of corn cropland can generate $1,342 of economic activity for the area. In 2015, the more than 64,000 acres of corn in the county resulted in $86 million of direct economic activity. In contrast, one acre of land in the Conservation Reserve Program generated $113 that year.
Read more about CRP in Wayne County.
Recent articles, press releases and issue advisories on agricultural policy.