Exploring production controls and set aside acres
As the ag economy continues to struggle, the University of Illinois and Ohio State are looking at past production controls and set aside acres in U.S. agriculture to inform the present situation.
Jonathan Coppess says while they are not suggesting replicating any past programs, this is a time to learn from them. Coppess tells Brownfield Ag News there could be options but it’s not clear what they would look like, “If we needed to reduce acreage, you know, how could you do that? If you know farmers are going to – if there’s an income challenge – we know there has to be some generation of income on those acres. How do you set that up?”
Coppess says the heavy-handed approach during the Great Depression of plowing acres under had unintended consequences as did some other subsequent ag crises policies.
He sees promise in Pay-in-Kind programs and thinks the continuous CRP program has promise, “That hits me immediately as something that you could possibly look to implement on a much broader, a much more intensive scale and pull acres out of that and then really work through that kind of a conservation concept.”
Coppess says there is talk on Capital Hill and among farmers for some kind of option to help struggling farmers.
He points to Senator John Thune’s proposal for the latest farm bill in a Soil Health Incentive Program and the five-million acre add-on proposed in the House-passed Heroes Act.
Coppess says climate change mitigation might be something to consider as part of the solution.