General sign-up for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) will begin on Aug. 2 and continue through Aug. 27. During the sign-up period, farmers and ranchers may offer eligible land for CRP's competitive general sign-up at their county Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. The 2008 Farm Bill authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture to maintain CRP enrollment up to 32 million acres.
CRP is a voluntary program that assists farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers to use their environmentally sensitive land for conservation benefits. Producers enrolling in CRP plant long-term, resource-conserving covers in exchange for rental payments, cost-share and technical assistance. CRP protects millions of acres of America's topsoil from erosion and is designed to improve the nation's natural resources base. Participants voluntarily remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production by entering into long-term contracts for 10-15 years. In exchange, participants receive annual rental payments and a payment of up to 50 percent of the cost of establishing conservation practices.
Land currently not enrolled in CRP may be offered in this sign-up provided all eligibility requirements are met. Additionally, current CRP participants with contracts expiring this fall, covering about 4.5 million acres, may make new contract offers. Contracts awarded under this sign-up are scheduled to become effective Oct. 1.
For more information, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/crp.