FSA State Office Announces 45th General Sign-Up for the Conservation Reserve Program


May 1st, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Des Moines, Iowa, May 1, 2013 — John R. Whitaker, State Executive Director for USDA’s Iowa Farm Service Agency (FSA) stated today that the Iowa FSA will conduct a four-week Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up beginning May 20 and ending on June 14.

“It continues to be our goal to ensure that we use CRP to address our most critical resource issues” said Whitaker. “Over the last couple of years, our state has experienced both the worst flooding and the worst drought in 60 years. CRP protected environmentally sensitive lands from washing or blowing away. This program, also gave livestock producers extra grazing land when they needed it.”

In addition to erosion control, CRP provides significant water quality benefits including reduced nutrients and sediment loadings and adverse consequences associated with floods as well as expanded and enhanced wildlife habitat.

Currently, about 27 million acres are enrolled in CRP nationwide, 1.5 million acres in Iowa. 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. On September 30, 2013, contracts on an estimated 3.3 million acres of CRP nationwide are set to expire; 183,399 acres will expire in Iowa. Producers with expiring contracts or producers with environmentally sensitive land are encouraged to evaluate their options under CRP.

Producers whose offers are accepted in the sign-up can receive cost-share assistance for planting covers and receive an annual rental payment for the length of the contract. Producers also are encouraged to look into CRP’s other enrollment opportunities offered on a continuous, non-competitive, sign-up basis. Continuous sign-ups often provide additional financial incentives. Those sign-up dates will be announced later. For more information on CRP and other FSA programs, visit your local FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.