Low Grain Prices Make Conservation Program More Attractive
ADRIAN, Minn. (AP) - Low grain prices are making it more attractive for Minnesota farmers to put their land in a program that pays them to replant it with trees and grasses benefiting wildlife and reducing erosion.
Reports say Minnesota farmers enrolled just over 1 million acres in the longtime federal Conservation Reserve Program last year. Val Dolcini, who oversees the program, says about 23.5 million acres are in the program across the country.
Southwestern Minnesota farmer Walt Kellen has about 130 of his nearly 1,000 acres in the program. He says he's happy to take payments from the program instead of trying to grow crops on marginal land.
Kellen gets about $80 an acre for his land in the program. The average in Minnesota is roughly $95 an acre.