USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Bruce Nelson today announced that the sign-up deadline for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has been extended to April 13, 2012.
"Due to strong interest in CRP, the decision was made to extend CRP sign-up 43 for an additional week. I encourage all eligible farmers and ranchers to take advantage of this opportunity to participate in CRP," said Nelson. "Whether new enrollees or re-enrolling existing CRP contracts, producers who sign up for CRP help to conserve land and improve our soil, water, air and wildlife habitat resources."
After the CRP general sign-up ends on April 13, FSA will evaluate offers based on cost and the Environmental Benefits Index (EBI). The EBI takes into consideration variables such as wildlife habitat, water quality protection, soil erosion reduction, air quality protection and other enduring benefits. Accepted offers will become effective Oct. 1, 2012.
Highlights of CRP include:
- CRP has restored more than two million acres of wetlands and two million acres of riparian buffers;
- Each year, CRP keeps more than 600 million pounds of nitrogen and more than 100 million pounds of phosphorous from flowing into our nation’s streams, rivers, and lakes.
- CRP provides $1.8 billion annually to landowners—dollars that make their way into local economies, supporting small businesses and creating jobs; and
- CRP is the largest private lands carbon sequestration program in the country. By placing vulnerable cropland into conservation, CRP sequesters carbon in plants and soil, and reduces both fuel and fertilizer usage. In 2010, CRP resulted in carbon sequestration equal to taking almost 10 million cars off the road.
Producers are encouraged to contact their local FSA service center or visit FSA’s website at this link for additional information regarding CRP.