Inflated bids for land being enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) are making it tough to find farmland to rent, several young Iowa farmers told Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last week during a roundtable discussion at Iowa State University.
Nathan Anderson of Cherokee said 500 acres near his farm was recently enrolled in CRP at rates of $350 to $400 per acre. He said it’s impossible for young farmers to compete with those bids, which are based on higher commodity prices from prior years.
"In one scenario, a beginning farmer lost land he was renting, and now he’s working out of state in a factory in Omaha," said Anderson, who suggested adjusting CRP rental rates more frequently instead of locking them in for a 10-year period regardless of current market conditions.
Dane Titman of Boone County said a retiring farmer near him...