"Today's number: 1.6 million. That's 1.6 million acres — about the area of the state of Delaware. That's how much land was removed this year from the federal Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP, which pays farmers to keep land covered with native grasses or sometimes trees. Most of that land now will produce crops like corn or wheat.
It's a sign of the shifting economic tides that are transforming America's farming landscape.
Dan Charles reports for NPR's The Salt blog December 22, 2013.