General CRP signup is underway
General Conservation Reserve Program signup is underway now through February 12.
FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce says it’s a short signup window, but it’s a competitive program with a lot of interest.
“It’s a highly anticipated activity across the country,” he says. “We do have quite a bit of space with the expansion of the cap due to language in the 2018 farm bill and the number of acres that are expiring, there’s going to be plenty of room for folks who want to enroll in CRP this year.”
The program provides annual rental payments for land devoted to conservation purposes. Fordyce says an environmental benefit index evaluates and ranks land offered for enrollment in CRP.
He tells Brownfield the program is a great option for producers and landowners.
“Whether it’s that conservation-minded landowner or whether it’s a landowner that’s transitioning some of that crop land into something else, it’s a great option to incorporate in their larger farming operation plan,” he says.
Conservation Reserve Program successes include preventing more than 9 billion tons of soil from eroding and sequestering an annual average of 49 million tons of greenhouse gases. Fordyce says…“If you think about 9 billion tons of soil, that’s enough to fill 600 million dump trucks and that soil is still on acres across the country because of CRP. If you think about nearly 50 million tons of greenhouse gases sequestered—it’s equal to 9 million cars off of the road. Those are real environmental benefits.”
New cropland offered in the program must have been planted for four out of six crop years from 2012 to 2017. Producers with land already enrolled but expiring on Sept. 30, can re-enroll this year. Accepted offers will begin Oct. 1.
CRP, one of the largest private-lands conservation programs in the US, was signed into law in 1985.
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Audio: Richard Fordyce