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EU ANNOUNCES PROGRAM TO INCREASE CROP PLANTINGS, FARM GROUPS URGE USDA TO OPEN UP CRP GROUND
Agri-Pulse reports:

With the war in Ukraine dragging on, farmers in the European Union are going to be allowed to plant crops on conservation acreage this spring, and there is new pressure on the Biden administration to do the same.

On Wednesday, the European Commission announced a series of measures to aid the ag sector, including about $550 million in direct payments "to directly support farmers most affected by higher input costs and the closure of export markets." The commission also will allow farmers to plant crops on fallow conservation acreage without taking a cut in what are called "greening payments."

In the U.S., the American Farm Bureau Federation has joined grain and oilseed processors in urging USDA to allow cropping of Conservation Reserve Program acreage that is classified as prime farmland or is less environmentally sensitive. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has so far resisted that idea.

EU justification: "Russia's war against Ukraine has created a multitude of problems including in relation to global food security," European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis said. "When it comes to food, now is the time for Europe to show its solidarity: to help Ukraine, its people and farmers, as well as vulnerable food-importing countries around the world that face surging prices and potential shortages."

The commission said it has proposed an EU Emergency Support Program of about $360 million Ukraine "to help alleviate the suffering of Ukrainians caused by the Russian invasion."


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