The next chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Representative Frank Lucas thinks the government should consider releasing idled land for crop production if the acreage is needed to stabilize supplies of corn and other commodities. Lucas who will take over the committee next month, said the next farm bill, due in 2012, could include a provision allowing the Agriculture Department to reduce the size of the Conservation Reserve Program in case of crop shortages.
Iowa State Extension Field Agronomist Jim Sawcett says he thinks the fear is that we have seen a demand for corn and soybeans. Sawcett says there is land that should not be turned back to production because it is highly erodible. He says they should be careful on what land they take out of CRP and put back into production. Sawcett says he thinks there is some CRP land that with appropriate conservation practices could raise corn and still be environmentally friendly. He says hopefully they can increase production without using CRP lands