background_fid.jpg
Macomb 91.3fm - Galesburg 90.7fm Keokuk 89.5fm - Burlington 106.3fm
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Harvest Public Media
Harvest Public Media is a reporting collaboration focused on issues of food, fuel and field. Based at KCUR in Kansas City, Harvest covers these agriculture-related topics through an expanding network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest.Most Harvest Public Media stories begin with radio- regular reports are aired on member stations in the Midwest. But Harvest also explores issues through online analyses, television documentaries and features, podcasts, photography, video, blogs and social networking. They are committed to the highest journalistic standards. Click here to read their ethics standards.Harvest Public Media was launched in 2010 with the support of a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Today, the collaboration is supported by CPB, the partner stations, and contributions from underwriters and individuals.Tri States Public Radio is an associate partner of Harvest Public Media. You can play an important role in helping Harvest Public Media and Tri States Public Radio improve our coverage of food, field and fuel issues by joining the Harvest Network. Learn more here.

USDA Extends Conservation Reserve Program Deadline, Increased Rental Rates Possible

Farmers agree to conserve the land for 10 to 15 years and get yearly rental payments in return as a part of the Conservation Reserve Program.
Farmers agree to conserve the land for 10 to 15 years and get yearly rental payments in return as a part of the Conservation Reserve Program.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is extending the deadline for the largest private land conservation program in the country, following a shortfall in enrollment and change in the White House. 

The Conservation Reserve Program pays farmers and ranchers to preserve land for 10 to 15 years, but it saw a shortfall of 4 million acres under the Trump administration. As of December 2020, there are 20.8 million acres enrolled in the program. 

With President Biden’s focus on mitigating climate change, the USDA extended the deadline for enrollment. 

“They want to start right out of the gate, trying to figure out how they can close that gap, get more interest in the program, which supports some of their priorities,” Steven Peterson, acting administrator for the Farm Service Agency says. 

Part of the reason for the decrease in enrollment is lower payments. Jordan Shearer, a fourth generation farmer from Slapout, Oklahoma, says his acres are expiring in October. He says the payments have been about a third lower than when he originally enrolled, which is influencing his decision.

“I think we would opt to graze that property more than likely and not have the restrictions that come with CRP,” Shearer says. 

Peterson says changes to the program could include higher payments, but those will begin following Tom Vilsack’s confirmation as secretary of agriculture. 

He says farmers who have already enrolled in the program will be able to apply the changes made by the USDA to their contract. 

Follow Seth on Twitter @sbodine120.

Copyright 2021 Harvest Public Media