Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer has pretty much shot down the idea of allowing producers out of Conservation Reserve Program contracts early without penalties so the land could be put back into crops. However; John Johnson with the USDA's Farm Service Agency says a lot of land is coming out of CRP as a result of expiring contracts.
"Last September 30, 2.3 million acres came out of CRP," Johnson says. "I'm pretty confident that the vast majority of that went back into commodity production."
So even without an early out, more CRP is being put into production. Tthis fall Johnson says another 1.1 million acres of CRP contracts will expire, and there is more to come.
"Next year in 2009, that number takes a big jump," Johnson says. "If my memory serves me right over 3 million acres is scheduled to come out."