Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture will conduct a general sign-up for the Conservation Reserve Program until June 14.
CRP has a 27-year legacy of protecting the nation’s natural resources through voluntary participation, while providing significant economic and environmental benefits to rural communities across the United States. Under Secretary Vilsack’s leadership, USDA has enrolled 11.7 million acres in various CRP efforts.
“Last year, during one of the worst droughts in generations, the CRP proved vital in protecting our most environmentally sensitive lands from erosion,” said Vilsack. “Emergency haying and grazing on CRP lands also supplied critical feed and forage for livestock producers due to the drought. And the program continues to bring substantial returns to rural areas, attracting recreation and tourism dollars into local economies while sustaining natural and wildlife habitat for future generations.”
Contracts on 3.3 million acres of CRP are set to expire Sept. 30, 2013. Producers with expiring contracts, or producers with environmentally sensitive land, are encouraged to evaluate their options under CRP.
Producers accepted in the sign-up can receive cost-share assistance to plant long-term, resource-conserving covers and receive an annual rental payment for the length of the contract (10-15 years). Producers also are encouraged to look into CRP’s other enrollment opportunities offered on a continuous, non-competitive, sign-up basis and that often provide additional financial assistance. Continuous sign-up dates will be announced later.
For more information on CRP and other FSA programs, visit a local FSA service center or www.fsa.usda.gov.