CRP accepts 3.9 million acres

The U.S. Department of Agri­culture has accepted 3.9 million acres offered by producers under the Conservation Reserve Pro­gram’s 43rd general signup period.

Contract terms on these acres will begin Oct. 1 for the 2013 CRP program year. USDA selected offers for CRP enrollment based on an environmental benefits index comprised of specific environmental and cost factors.

The agriculture secretary has asked those producers not accepted in CRP under this enrollment period, or having untreated highly erodible lands, to consider other federal conservation program initiatives, such as the continuous CRP or Environmental Quality Incentives Program to help manage and preserve sensitive lands.

Under CRP, producers plant approved species of grasses and trees in crop fields and along streams and rivers. The plantings reduce the loss of soil and nutrients that can contribute to poor water quality.

Plus, the added benefits of enhanced wildlife habitat and air quality are realized as well.

There were 50 offers that earned new 10-15 year CRP contracts under the most recent signup period, adding 2,100 acres to Marion County CRP.

Bill Harmon is executive director of the Marion County FSA office.

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