USDA to boost wildlife habitat, trim cropland

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The federal government will maximize enrollment in the land-idling Conservation Reserve, said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a policy that would reduce U.S. cropland by 1.5 percent if successful.

The amount of land involved, around 5 million acres, could produce more than 150 million bushels of wheat, 200 million bushels of soybeans or 700 million bushels of corn, based on recent abandonment rates and the Agriculture Department’s projected yields for the three crops this year.

Growers planted 320 million acres to the principal U.S. crops of grains, cotton, oilseeds, hay, tobacco, potatoes and sugarcane in 2009, says USDA.

Full story: USDA to boost wildlife habitat, trim cropland | Reuters