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A growing strength

Longleaf pines making comeback thanks to conservation program
[ Georgia ] The process of clearing land for farming more than a century ago destroyed most of Georgia’s historic longleaf forests, which experts say once covered more than 65 million acres of the South. Today, farmers are helping restore this endangered ecosystem with federal funding from the Conservation Reserve Program. Since 1995, farmers have signed 10- to 15-year contracts to grow longleaf pines on land that was recently planted in row crops, with the government reimbursing half the costs. More than 100,000 acres in Georgia have been planted in longleaf pines since then. On marginal land, the pines can produce more reliable income than crops, some farmers say. “To know where you’re getting a payment is rare in farming now, so more farmers are going to tree.”

News notes are courtesy of Southern Forests Network News Notes




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