Turning Former Cropland into Green Grass — and Green Cash

By Brianna Randall, NRCS Working Lands for Wildlife·Sep 15, 2021

Rex Schmidt and his wife have grazed cattle and farmed for 35 years near Greensburg, Kansas, where the hills break into prairie and birds are abundant in their green pastures.

Schmidt, like many other producers across the United States, wanted to invest in grass for the future of his family’s operation. He’s had Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts for a few pastures on his farm over the years, replanting 1,280 acres of wheat, milo, and cattle feed back into grass. Farmers enrolled in the CRP take cropland out of production and then plant species that benefit wildlife, water, and soil in return for yearly rental payments.

“A lot of this land never should’ve been farmed anyway due to the poor soil and erosion,” Schmidt said. READ MORE

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