"Due to strong interest in CRP, the decision was made to extend
CRP sign-up 43 for an additional week. I encourage all eligible
farmers and ranchers to take advantage of this opportunity to
participate in CRP," said Scherrie V. Giamanco, state executive
director for FSA. "Whether new enrollees or re-enrolling
existing CRP contracts, producers who sign up for CRP help to
conserve land and improve our soil, water, air and wildlife
After the CRP general sign-up ends on
April 13, FSA will evaluate offers based on cost and the
Environmental Benefits Index, or EBI. The EBI takes into
consideration variables such as wildlife habitat, water quality
protection, soil erosion reduction, air quality protection and
other enduring benefits. Accepted offers will become effective
CRP is a voluntary program available to agricultural
producers to help them use environmentally sensitive land for
conservation benefits. Producers enrolled in CRP plant
long-term, resource-conserving covers to improve the quality of
water, control soil erosion and develop wildlife habitat. In
return, USDA provides participants with rental payments and
cost-share assistance. Contract duration is between 10 and 15
years. Producers with expiring contracts and producers with
environmentally sensitive land are encouraged to evaluate their
options under CRP.
CRP has a 25-year legacy of successfully protecting the
nation's natural resources through voluntary participation,
while providing significant economic and environmental benefits
to rural communities across the United States. Currently, about
30 million acres are enrolled in CRP.
CRP continues to make major contributions to national efforts
to improve water and air quality and to prevent soil erosion by
protecting the most sensitive areas, including those prone to
flash flooding and runoff.
At the same time, CRP has helped increase populations of
pheasants, quail, ducks and other rare species, like the sage
grouse, the lesser prairie chicken and others.
Highlights of CRP:
restored more than 2 million acres of wetlands and 2 million
acres of riparian buffers. Each year, CRP keeps more than
600 million pounds of nitrogen and more than 100 million
pounds of phosphorous from flowing into our nation's
streams, rivers and lakes.
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CRP provides $1.8
billion annually to landowners -- dollars that make their way
into local economies, supporting small businesses and creating
CRP is the largest
private lands carbon sequestration program in the country. By
placing vulnerable cropland into conservation, CRP sequesters
carbon in plants and soil and reduces both fuel and fertilizer
usage. In 2010, CRP resulted in carbon sequestration equal to
taking almost 10 million cars off the road.
In 2011, USDA enrolled a record number
of acres of private working lands in conservation programs,
working with more than 500,000 farmers and ranchers to implement
conservation practices that clean the air we breathe, filter the
water we drink and prevent soil erosion.
The current administration, with Agriculture Secretary Tom
Vilsack's leadership, has worked tirelessly to strengthen rural
America, implement the farm bill, maintain a strong farm safety net
and create opportunities for America's farmers and ranchers.
U.S. agriculture is currently experiencing one of its most
productive periods in American history thanks to the productivity,
resiliency and resourcefulness of our producers.
Producers are encouraged to contact their local FSA service
center or visit FSA's website at
for additional information regarding CRP.
[Text from file received from
Illinois Farm Service Agency]