In a December 20 letter to Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Ranking Member Pat Roberts (R-KS), House Agriculture Committee Chair Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Ranking Member Collin Peterson (R-MN), the National Chicken Council, and other groups requested again that USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres be reduced from the current level of 32 million acres to 25 million acres.

A similar letter had been sent earlier this year prior to the new farm bill being actively considered by the Senate. The group also reiterated in this week’s letter the need to give CRP contract holders the “freedom to begin restoring to production–prior to contract expiration and without penalty–qualifying CRP acres….” Allowing CRP land that can be cropped in an environmentally sustainable way to return to crop production will help provide a supply of grain and oilseeds to better meet rising global demand for these commodities, the group said.

In addition to NCC, other groups signing the letter were the National Oilseed Processors Association, National Grain and Feed Industry, Agricultural Retailers Association, American Feed Industry Association, National Turkey Federation, North American Millers Association, and The Fertilizer Institute.