Fewer farmers are signing up for a program that pays them not to farm.
Efforts by the Biden administration to entice more farmers to leave their land fallow—or plant trees and permanent grasses instead of crops—appear to be falling flat, Politico reports. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) increased incentives earlier this year in the Conservation Reserve Program, but participation is at a 34-year low. That’s likely because commodity prices are currently high, making farmers less willing to set aside land that could be a moneymaker. The program, which has been hailed by the president as a way to fight climate change, also might not do that much to actually help with carbon emissions. The amount of carbon production that the USDA says the program is reducing is just a fraction of the total amount of carbon generated annually by farming in the United States. The benefits are also temporary. Farmers are only required to take the land out of production for 10 to 15 years.