sees strong demand for Conservation Reserve Program
Deadline to Submit Offers for competitive
enrollment is February 26
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[February 12, 2016]
USDA reminds farmers and ranchers that the competitive
sign-up deadline for its most popular voluntary conservation
program, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), is Feb. 26, 2016.
This will be one of the most competitive general sign-up periods
in history, in part due a statutory limit on the number of acres
that can be enrolled in the program. The most competitive
applications will be those that combine multiple conservation
benefits, such as water quality and wildlife habitat.
For the past thirty years, CRP has provided financial incentives
to farmers and ranchers to remove environmentally sensitive
agricultural land from production to be planted with certain
grasses, shrubs and trees that improve water quality, prevent
soil erosion and increase wildlife habitat. Since 1985, CRP has
sequestered an annual average of 49 million tons of greenhouse
gases, equal to taking 9 million cars off the road; prevented 9
billion tons of soil from erosion, enough to fill 600 million
dump trucks; and reduced nitrogen and phosphorous runoff by 95
and 85 percent, respectively. CRP also protects more than
170,000 stream miles with forests and grasses, enough to go
around the world seven times. The program has allowed for the
restoration of 2.7 million acres of wetland.
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As of January 2016, 23.6 million acres were enrolled in CRP, with
contracts for more than 1.6 million acres set to expire this fall.
The statutory cap on acres that can be enrolled is 24 million acres.
Submissions will be ranked according to environmental benefits in
comparison to all other offers nationwide. USDA will announce
accepted offers after the enrollment period ends and offers are
reviewed. For an interactive tour of CRP success stories from across
the U.S., visit www.fsa.usda.gov/CRPis30, or follow on Twitter at
For an interactive look at USDA's work in conservation and forestry
over the course of this Administration, visit
[U.S. Department of Agriculture]