WASHINGTON— After repeated calls from U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, to devise a plan empowering American agricultural producers to help address the global food crisis, the U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced expanded flexibilities within the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) for participants with expiring contracts.
Boozman applauded this long-awaited action to help counter the unprecedented disruption in global crop markets brought on by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. With this announcement, millions of acres of agricultural land will become available sooner to America’s farmers and ranchers.
“Allowing domestic producers to scale-up capacity to aid those desperately in need globally is a common sense policy to help address the food crisis and bring down prices here at home. Flexibilities have been provided in the past with success, so at a time like this when we’re facing food security challenges, it’s necessary to use every tool in the toolbox to allow more acres of land to return to food production,” Boozman said.
Boozman first urged USDA to take action to expand these flexibilities in March in a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. In column earlier this month, he urged the Biden administration to grant this authority for American producers to aid those in need. As the war in Ukraine persists and food supply remains a significant concern, the senator has continued to pressure USDA for an update to its CRP policy.