PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Tuesday, March 6, 2012

USDA Offers Farmers More Money For Land Conservation

A native prairie in a CRP field in Madison County, Iowa. (Flickr/USDAgov/Photo courtesy of NRCS )

The federal government is offering higher one-time signing bonuses to farmers who agree to idle some of their farm land instead of planting crops.

The signing bonuses are part of the voluntary Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which is aimed at preventing soil erosion and loss of wildlife habitat.

But farmers have been pulling their land out of the program because for the past few years they’ve been able to earn more money planting products such as soybeans and corn and selling those crops to China.

Virgil Schmitt, field agronomist at Iowa State University, says since 2007 at least 15 percent of the land in the CRP has been lost to row crops, but the new government incentives are enticing farmers back into the program.

Guest:

  • Virgil Schmitt, field agronomist at Iowa State University

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Spotlight

Throughout the week, Here & Now is looking at the impact a raise in the minimum wage would have on states, the federal government and workers.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

May 3 Comment

Letter From ‘Little Miss Flint’ Inspires Obama To Visit

Obama will visit Flint, Michigan on Wednesday to meet with residents who've lived with contaminated water.

Diane Rehm On Medically Assisted Dying

Rehm speaks about her husband's battle with Parkinson's Disease and her new book, "On My Own."

A Candid Conversation With Public Radio’s Diane Rehm

The radio show host discusses her husband's illness and their often fraught marriage.

The Average Millennial Is Nothing Like The Stereotypes

Data shows that the average 29-year-old did not graduate from a four-year university and is living in a suburb.