Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Floyd Gaibler has announced that more than 14,000 agricultural producers and landowners may be eligible to re-enroll their land in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) continuous sign-up if their contracts expire on Sept. 30, 2007.
"More than 300,000 acres enrolled under these contracts are scheduled to leave the program at the end of September," said Gaibler. "Re-enrolling these acres is an important conservation decision because continuous sign-up contracts involve some of the nation's most environmentally sensitive land."
Of the 300,000 acres eligible to leave the program, about 71,800 acres are in major corn producing states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Ohio).
Farmers and ranchers with general sign-up CRP contracts that expire Sept. 30, 2007, and that did not take advantage of the last year's re-enrollment or extension offer also may be eligible for the continuous sign-up. Farm Service Agency officials at USDA Service Centers began notifying general sign-up CRP contract holders last month of this possibility.
In addition, producers with land eligible for the continuous sign-up may, in some cases, be eligible for the special incentives of CRP's Farmable Wetlands Program.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the continuous sign-up for CRP. Environmentally desirable land devoted to certain conservation practices may be enrolled in CRP at any time under continuous sign-up. Offers are automatically accepted provided the land and producer meet certain eligibility requirements. Offers for continuous sign-up are not subject to competitive bidding. Continuous sign-up contracts are for 10 to 15 years.
CRP is a voluntary program that helps farmers, ranchers and other landowners plant long-term, resource-conserving covers in exchange for rental payments, cost-share and technical assistance. These practices reduce erosion and improve wildlife habitat, water and air quality.
For more information about CRP, visit your local USDA Service Center or online at: http://www.fsa.usda.gov .