Farmers and landowners are reminded that the next general enrollment period for the Conservation Reserve Program has started, and will end on Feb. 26.
As of September 2015, 24.2 million acres were enrolled in CRP. CRP also is protecting more than 170,000 stream miles with riparian forest and grass buffers, enough to go around the world seven times.
Participants in CRP establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees (known as “covers”) to control soil erosion, improve water quality and develop wildlife habitat on marginally productive agricultural lands. In return, FSA provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance. At times when commodity prices are low, enrolling sensitive lands in CRP can be especially attractive to farmers and landowners, as it softens the economic hardship for landowners at the same time that it provides ecological benefits. Contract duration is between 10 and 15 years. The long-term goal of the program is to re-establish native plant species on marginal agricultural lands for the primary purpose of preventing soil erosion and improving water quality and related benefits of reducing loss of wildlife habitat.
Contracts on 1.64 million acres of CRP are set to expire on Sept. 30. Producers with expiring contracts or producers with environmentally sensitive land are encouraged to evaluate their options under CRP.
For more information about the FSA conservation programs, visit the Brown or Clermont County FSA office or go online to www.fsa.usda.gov/crp. Appointments are encouraged, call Brown County FSA at 937-378-6173 or Clermont Co. FSA at 513-732-2181