CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Howard Buffett soon will make his second trip to Ukraine this spring and last Wednesday expressed his concern that USDA could be doing more to produce wheat on CRP-Set-aside acreage.
“And I think we made a huge mistake in this country, by not immediately responding,” Buffett said. “You knew within two weeks of the war what was happening to agriculture. And we should have looked at. And you can’t take all 22, 23 million acres of CRP out, but you can put conditions on 15 or 18 millions of acres of that, and you have to say you have to no-till it, you have to grow wheat, and we’ll guarantee you a price on the wheat, and you may have to put it back in CRP next year or the year following, but you can’t tear it up. But I have taken CRP in my lifetime and easily gone to no-till. It’s the easiest thing there is to do. You just need the right equipment. Our guys know how to do it. Farmers here know how to do it. I think we could have put, I didn’t study it, but we probably could have put 15 or 18 million acres of CRP into wheat and what a great thing for our farmers to be helping the rest of the world. We are always talking abut how we feed the world and the truth is we feed a portion of the world. But what more important time is there in my history to step up to the plate and say we are going to produce more so that those people in the Ukraine can meet their food security, while those that are affected by the war in Ukraine can have better food security. What better mission in life is there for a farmer to feed people because of a war? There isn’t anything better than that in my book in terms of what a farmer can do, you know.”
The following day the USDA announced it would allow wheat to be planted this fall on Conservation Reserve Acreage in its final year under contract. When I told Howard about the change, his response was a hearty laugh. That’s our report from the farm. I’m Stu Ellis with WCIA-3, your local news leader.