Iowa farmers urged to sign up for conservation programs
DES MOINES — As soon as temperatures warm, Iowa farmers will be out in their fields working nonstop.
As a result of congressional delays, said Traci Bruckner, spokeswoman for the Center for Rural Affairs, those farmers who want to sign up for the Conservation Stewardship Program are going to be squeezed to get it done before the busy spring planting time.
“The thing we are worried about is that the deadline, the cutoff for getting in their basic application form, will come at the busiest time of year for farmers,” she said. “We’re encouraging people to go in there now and sign up, before they get out to the fields and before they get really busy with planting season.”
Congress failed to fund many programs in the Farm Bill when it was extended, she said, so now it’s hard for farmers to figure out which programs are still active and which ones aren’t.
“The basic commodity programs, the basic crop insurance programs, those have not been cut,” she said. “But the programs that really focus on helping beginning farmers and people who are doing things differently and trying to establish high-value niche markets, those programs have been impacted.”
Farmers swamped with fieldwork and needing help with the CSP sign-up can get assistance from the Center for Rural Affairs by calling the office or going online to www.cfra.org.