Farm Bill- Policy Issues
Reuters writer Tom Polansek reported yesterday that, “North Dakota farmer Justin Zahradka will plant wheat this spring on 40 acres that has been off-limits for two decades, protected by a government conservation program that is shrinking as high crop prices make farmland more valuable.
“The 18-year-old high school senior leased the land a year ago from a neighbor who opted not to re-enroll it in the federal Conservation Reserve Program, a scheme that pays farmers and landowners nearly $2 billion annually to leave land idle in order to protect wildlife and the environment.
“After loosening up the soil with vegetables last year, he has high hopes for a good harvest. His acres are part of a total 1.7 percent rise in the number of acres of U.S. field crops that farmers are projected to plant this spring, according to Friday’s annual U.S. Agriculture Department plantings survey.”