90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
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.
Robin and Jeremy

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

August 28 Comment

Catching Up With The Polyphonic Spree

The choral rock band out of Dallas, Texas, has been thrilling audiences with its live performances for over a decade.

August 28 5 Comments

‘Enormous’ Growth Of Ocean Garbage Patch

The oceanographer who discovered the floating island of trash in 1997 says he's shocked by how much it's grown.

August 27 Comment

Veteran Honored, But Struggles To Keep Business Open

Former Marine Matt Victoriano is being recognized as a "Champion of Change" at the White House.

August 27 40 Comments

In Defense Of Schlock Music: Why We Love/Hate It

Music critic Jody Rosen defends the kind of over-the-top, sentimental songs that Journey, Lionel Richie, Billy Joel and Prince made famous.