Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reminded landowners and producers that a general sign-up for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) will begin on March 14 and continue through April 15. During the sign-up period, farmers and ranchers may offer eligible land at their county Farm Service Agency 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. By reducing water runoff and sedimentation, CRP also protects groundwater and helps improve the condition of lakes, rivers, ponds and streams.
Land may be enrolled in CRP provided all eligibility requirements are met. Additionally, current CRP participants with contracts expiring this fall, covering about 4.4 million acres, may make new contract offers. Contracts awarded under this sign-up are scheduled to become effective Oct. 1.