- Associated Press - Thursday, December 29, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a new policy designed to allow farmers to take land out of a conservation program early if it is to be transferred to the next generation of farmers.

Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary Lanon Baccam says beginning Jan. 9, the USDA will offer an early termination opportunity for certain Conservation Reserve Program contracts.

Baccam made the announcement at the Joe Dunn farm in central Iowa near Carlisle. Dunn is the father-in-law to Iowa native and former U.S. Marine Aaron White, who with his wife, are prospective next generation farmers.

Baccam says the chance to give young farmers a better opportunity to succeed makes perfect sense.

Normally, early termination of a CRP contract requires repayment of all previous payments plus interest. The new policy waives this repayment if the land is transferred to a beginning farmer or rancher.

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