USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the agency will begin sign-up for the Highly Erodible Land Initiative under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) on July 23, 2012. The purpose of this initiative, announced by Secretary Vilsack in February, is to protect up to 750,000 acres of the nation’s most highly erodible croplands. Producers may enroll at their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) county office. Enrollment will continue until the 750,000 acre limit has been met.
CRP is a voluntary program designed to help farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers protect their environmentally sensitive land. Currently, 29.6 million acres are enrolled in CRP. Through this Highly Erodible Land Initiative, eligible landowners receive annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term, resource conserving covers on eligible cropland for a period of 10 years. Croplands with an Erodibility Index of 20 or greater are eligible for enrollment.