After weeks of speculation following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, U.S. conservation acres are moving to cropland status. USDA says landowners will take 1.87 million acres out of the long-term Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and back into crop production. Profitable commodity prices are driving the shift, particularly with shrinking world corn production amidst Brazil’s ongoing drought.

However, the shift complicates the Biden Administration’s plans of using CRP land to support U.S. carbon sequestration goals. And while USDA has expanded the CRP to 25.5 million acres this year, currently only 22.1 million acres are enrolled. The disparity comes after 4 million acres were set to expire on September 30, but only 2.1 millions acres have re-enrolled.

Read more on CRP land conversion here.