LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Soaring prices for corn and soybeans have Nebraska farmers taking more erosion-prone land out of a federal conservation program and back into crop production.
The Lincoln Journal Star said that landowners in southeastern Nebraska, which has been a stronghold for the federal Conservation Reserve Program, are moving away from the 10-year federal contracts and toward row-crop production. That includes landowners in Johnson, Gage, Otoe and Lancaster counties.
Pawnee County, which once had about 60 square miles enrolled, saw enrollment drop to less than half that last year.
Officials say that while more crop production is good news for livestock feeders, ethanol plants and other potential profit-makers, it's not so good for prairie chickens, pheasants and other wildlife that depend on CRP habitat.
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