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USDA Announces Conservation Reserve Program General Sign-Up Dates

By James Miller, Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services

Earlier today I announced, on behalf of Secretary Tom Vilsack, an opportunity for landowners to enroll environmentally sensitive land into the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).  CRP is administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation.

America’s farmers and ranchers play an important role in improving our environment, and for nearly 25 years, CRP has helped this nation build sound conservation practices that preserve the soil, clean our water, and restore habitat for wildlife. Today’s announcement will help us create a greener and healthier America, and I encourage all interested farmers and ranchers to contact their local FSA office to learn more how to take advantage of this opportunity.

CRP is a voluntary program that assists farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers to use their environmentally sensitive land for conservation benefits.  This is the first time in four years that a general sign-up enrollment period has been announced.

The important points are:

  • This is a 10 year commitment (in some cases 15 years)
  • We are seeking applicants who own environmentally sensitive land that benefits:
  • Wildlife habitat
  • Water quality
  • Erosion Reduction
  • Enduring benefits
  • Air quality
  • Producers who enroll are expected to plant long-term resource conserving covers.
  • In exchange for enrolling, FSA will provide rental payments, cost share and technical assistance on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation.
  • CRP payments are made in arrears,  which means the first payment for land accepted under this enrollment period will be made in October 2011.
  • The sign up period is from Aug. 2nd until Friday, Aug. 27th.

The best way to find out everything you need to know about CRP is to visit one of our 2200 county offices across the Nation.  To find out where your closest office is, or to find out more information about CRP click here.

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