Ag Secretary Concerned Over Farms-to-Forests Conversion

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has ordered the revision of a forecasting model related to congressional climate legislation that makes the conversion of farmland to forests more lucrative than producing food.
December 30, 2009, 8am PST | Nate Berg
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Vilsack was reportedly concerned that the model would reduce the amount of food American farmers produced in the near future, according to The Washington Times.

"According to the economic model used by the department and the Environmental Protection Agency, the legislation would give landowners incentives to convert up to 59 million acres of farmland into forests over the next 40 years. The reason: Trees clean the air of heat-trapping gases better than farming does.

Mr. Vilsack, in a little-noticed statement issued with the report earlier this month, said the department's forecasts "have caused considerable concern" among farmers and ranchers."

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Published on Tuesday, December 29, 2009 in The Washington Times
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