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Peterson introduces CRP bill to send message about climate change

Outgoing House Ag Committee chairman Collin Peterson says legislation he’s introducing to expand Conservation Reserve Program acreage is a marker of how he thinks agriculture can help address climate change.

The Minnesota Democrat, who was defeated in last month’s election, held a call with reporters Thursday.

“The point of having this press conference is to point out to people that we have a program that’s successful, that is proven, that works, and I think would be the best solution for us if we want to do something about carbon sequestration and climate change. And that is CRP.”

Peterson’s proposal calls for USDA to move 50 million acres of cropland out of production and into CRP.

He acknowledged the bill has no chance of passing in the current Congress.

“But hopefully it’s a marker we can put out there (that) people can rally behind as people look for ways to engage agriculture in this issue. This is something that should be right at the forefront of what we look at in order to make that happen.”

Peterson says there’s no better way to store carbon than perennial native grasses that take sunlight and turn it into carbon deep in the ground.

Currently there are just under 22 million acres enrolled in CRP.

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