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Good News For Those Who Want to Farm in WI

May 17, 2010

MADISON, Wis. - With thousands of acres of land set to come out of the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), beginning farmers in Wisconsin and several other upper Midwest states have the opportunity to bring the land back into productive agriculture. The rules, announced Friday, will allow the landowner to get two more years of CRP payments by turning the land over to a new or socially-disadvantaged farmer.

Traci Bruckner of the Center for Rural Affairs says it's a good situation for both the landowner and the new farmer.

"They can think about getting it into the hands of a beginner. So, it's really about helping a land-owner think about making that transition, and giving them a little incentive to do so."

The Farm Service Agency will be in charge of the program, and the Natural Resource Conservation Service will be in charge of working with the beginning or socially-disadvantaged farmer to develop a conservation plan. The landowner's incentive is the extra years of CRP payments, and the new farmer gets a chance to work the land.

Bruckner says it's a good situation for both parties involved - the landowner and the new farmer.

"We're really excited about this, because it should help us get some of that land in the hands of a beginning farmer that's going to start out farming that land with a conservation plan, so it's going to integrate conservation into that land from the outset."

Bruckner says those who are interested in taking advantage of the program should contact their local Farm Service Agency.

More information is available online at www.cfra.org

Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI