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Chairman Scott and Subcommittee Chair Spanberger Release Statement on USDA Announcement on CRP Enhancements

WASHINGTON – House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott and Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry Chair Abigail Spanberger issued the following statement in response to USDA’s announcement on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) enhancements:

“Today’s announcement shows that USDA is committed to ensuring that America’s farmers and ranchers are an essential piece of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts on climate change,” said Chairman Scott. “I’ve said time and again that agriculture needs to be at the tip of the spear on our efforts on climate change, and this announcement by Secretary Vilsack gives me confidence that we’re headed in the right direction. Today’s news further leverages the enormous capacity for the Conservation Reserve Program to store carbon, and the enhancements announced will be key in these efforts.

“As a nation, we can do more to reward farmers who engage in successful, voluntary conservation programs — one of those being CRP. Across Virginia, more than 2,700 farms and 33,000 acres are enrolled in CRP. Through CRP, farmers in environmentally sensitive areas are rewarded for capturing carbon. The programmatic changes announced today will be especially critical to the ongoing restoration of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and the larger fight to mitigate the climate crisis,” said Spanberger. “I applaud today’s announcement to both establish a new climate incentive payment within CRP and to monitor the impacts of this initiative. Together, these changes will not only boost program enrollment, but will also help improve program design to better protect our soil, air, and water.”


More information on this announcement from USDA can be found at the link provided here.

Since it was first authorized in 1985, the Conservation Reserve Program has worked to build soil health, improve water quality, and develop wildlife habitat. To date, the program has prevented more than 9 billion tons of soil from eroding and has sequestered an average of 49 million tons of greenhouse gases annually. The 2018 farm bill gradually expanded CRP program acreage to 27 million acres by fiscal year 2023. There are currently 4 million acres available for enrollment. Boosting program participation to capture this enrollment potential will be key in maximizing CRP’s climate benefits.

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