The Daily Item
MIDDLEBURG — Mary Kiel, county executive director of the Snyder/Union County FSA Office, reminds farmers and ranchers that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will conduct a four-week Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up beginning May 20 and ending June 14. Kiel also announced the restart of sign-up for continuous CRP, including the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement Initiative, the Highly Erodible Land Initiative, the Grassland Restoration Initiative, the Pollinator Habitat Initiative and other related initiatives. Sign-up for continuous CRP began on May 13 and will continue through Sept. 30.
Producers are also encouraged to look into CRP’s other enrollment opportunities offered on a continuous, non-competitive, sign-up basis.
USDA provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance. Contract duration is between 10 and 15 years. Currently, 27 million acres are enrolled in CRP through 700,000 contracts on 390,000 farms throughout the U.S., with enrollment in 49 states and Puerto Rico. Contracts on an estimated 3.3 million acres will expire on Sept. 30. Enrollment authority for all types of CRP, which had expired Sept. 30, 2012, was extended through 2013 by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.
Offers for general sign-up CRP contracts are ranked according to an Environmental Benefits Index (EBI). USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) collects data for each of the EBI factors based on the relative environmental benefits for the land offered.