Ag News: Conservation Reserve Enhancement and Pork Prices Rise
**USDA is leveraging its authority under the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program to bring in new types of partners and expand opportunities in voluntary conservation.
The program enables USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation, through Farm Service Agency, and partners to co-invest in partner-led projects.
The program also plays an important role in USDA’s broader climate change strategy.
Currently, the program has 34 projects in 26 states, on more than 860,000 acres.
**Researchers say pork prices, not industry profits, are rising.
Economists from Iowa State University and North Carolina State University released the report with the National Pork
Producers Council showing prices are rising due to increased transportation costs, supply bottlenecks and delays and increased labor costs throughout the supply chain, caused or intensified by the pandemic.
NPPC says the long-term outlook for labor, a critical factor in easing supply chain challenges and high prices, depends on future immigration policy and ag labor reform.
**The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office released a report on the implementation of the USDA’s Market Facilitation Program in 2018 and 2019.
The report shows payments by USDA significantly overestimated the actual trade damages suffered by producers of eligible commodities.
The report also found the calculation method USDA used in 2019 for payments to non-specialty crop producers resulted in higher payments for Southern farmers than producers in other parts of the country.