"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 habitat resources."
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 Oct. 1.
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:
CRP has 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
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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]