For the first time in over a decade, the Conservation Reserve Program will see a net gain in acreage, says the USDA. As many as 4 million acres may be added to the reserve this year which is now at its smallest size since 1987. The federal program pays landowners an annual rent in exchange for idling fragile land for 10 or 15 years. During its idled period, the land can help protect water quality, provide wildlife habitat and prevent erosion. See how the USDA plans to offer higher rental rates to incentivize landowners to participate.