CRP requirements eased for cropland within reservoir watershed

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN PEGGY BLACKMAN
WRAPS Project

Cropland located within the Marion Reservoir Watershed will be eligible for Conservation Reserve Program sign-up without being designated as “highly erodible.”

The prairie chicken habitat initiative for wildlife enhancement will allow CRP acreage to meet the criteria for signup.

CRP is a voluntary program available to agricultural producers to help them safeguard environmentally sensitive land.

Producers enrolled in CRP plant long-term resource conserving covers to improve the quality of water, control soil erosion, and enhance wildlife habitat.

In return, the Farm Service Agency provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance. Contract duration is between 10 and 15 years.

To be eligible for CRP enrollment, a producer must have owned or operated the land for at least 12 months prior to close of the CRP sign-up.

Land for placement in CRP must be cropland-including field margins-that is planted or considered planted to an agricultural commodity four of the previous six crop years from 1996 to 2001, and is physically and legally capable of being planted in a normal manner to an agricultural commodity.

In addition to the eligible land requirements, cropland must meet one of the following criteria:

— have a weighted average erosion index of 8 or higher;

— be expiring CRP acreage;

— be located in a national or state CRP conservation priority area.

Enrollment of acreage can be made by appointment only in the FSA office Aug. 30 through Sept. 24.

Very few acres within Kansas can be added to the allotted CRP acreage for the state.

Offers for CRP signup will be ranked according to the Environmental Benefits Index. Each eligible offer is ranked in comparison to all other offers and selections made from that ranking.

Decisions on EBI cutoff will be made after the sign-up ends.

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