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More SEIA Farmland to Conservation

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The amount of farmland in conservation programs across Iowa as dropped in the past decade, but Southeast Iowa has actually seen an increase.

State wide, farmers took land out of the Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP, to take advantage of higher corn prices.

Iowa State University Extension Field Agronomist, Virgil Schmitt, said farmers in the southeast did that too.

Southeast Iowa has had a lot of struggles over the last decade or so... simply because of the amount wetness that has been there

However some farmers put portions of the land back into the CRP when they realized it was too steep or wet to be farmed.

Schmitt also pointed out that southeast Iowa’s wet spring this year wasn’t its first.

"Southeast Iowa has had a lot of struggles over the last decade or so in terms of really being able to get the crops planted, simply because of the amount wetness that has been there," Schmitt said.

He also said that requirements have changed for what land can be enrolled in the program which could account for county to county differences.

Henry, Washington, and Des Moines counties saw significant increases, Lee and Jefferson saw slight ones, and the acres in CRP actually dropped for Louisa County.
 

Scott Stuntz is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.