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Legislation to Improve Flexibility of Farmland Conservation Program

Senators Michael Bennett of Colorado and Roger Marshall of Kansas introduced the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program Improvement Act. The bill would provide the flexibility family farmers and ranchers need to conserve water on working lands while fairly compensating them for retiring their water rights or limiting their water use.

“With the CREP Improvement Act, we can give farmers the flexibility they need to conserve their water supply and pass their operations to their kids and grandkids,” Bennett says.

The act would improve the CREP program in several ways, including directing USDA to allow dryland agricultural uses on CREP acreage where appropriate. Other improvements include specifically adding dryland crop production and grazing to the list of appropriate conservation practices for the CREP program.

“Time and again, we hear USDA is being too rigid in their interpretation of good programs, and this bill will help give farmers and ranchers more flexibility,” Marshall says.

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