New project lets farmers diversify crops - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New project lets farmers diversify crops

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- A new project being tested in Iowa and six other states is letting farmers diversify their crops.

The Planting Transferability Pilot Project would let farmers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin plant such vegetables as cucumbers, green peas, lima beans, pumpkins, snap beans, sweet corn, or tomatoes for processing on base acres under the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program (DCP).

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the project Thursday.  Vilsack says the project is an important step in implementing the 2008 farm bill.  Vilsack says it would provide farmers with additional sources of revenue, while supporting the production of healthy fruits and vegetables.
There is a catch: Iowa is only approved for 1,000 base acres.  Participants must sign up for this project through their county farm service agency before March 2, 2009.

"There is significant interest by farmers in diversifying their operations and this new program presents a good opportunity for producers," said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey.

"Producers interested in participating should contact their local FSA office to learn more," said Northey.

Online Producer: Mike Verlo

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