Farm state lawmakers quizzed the Trump administration’s nominee to oversee conservation programs about expanded acreage and greater flexibility for haying and grazing under the Conservation Reserve Program.
The Senate Ag committee held a confirmation hearing Thursday for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, a Republican, to serve as the Undersecretary for Farm Production and Conservation. The position was established in May as part of a re-organization at USDA.
Senator John Thune of South Dakota would like to see the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) cap raised nationwide to 30 million acres, up from 24 million acres.
When he unveiled his idea in April, Thune said South Dakota was expected to lose 57 percent of its existing CRP acres throughout the 2018 farm bill.
Thune asked Northey for his opinion. Listen –> Northey on CRP Cap
In light of this year’s devastating drought in parts of the Dakotas and Montana, Thune was curious about more flexibility when it comes to grazing and haying CRP acres. Listen –> Northey on CRP Flexibility
Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota had similar questions regarding the CRP. Listen –> Northey and Hoeven on CRP
The committee also considered Gregory Ibach, of Nebraska, to be the next Under Secretary of Agriculture for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.