CRP workshop for landowners is May 8

Pheasants Forever is hosting a workshop for landowners who would like to learn more about the upcoming Conservation Reserve Program signup. The meeting will be held at 1 p.m. May 8 in the city hall basement, Marion.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will hold the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general signup from May 20 through June 14, 2013. CRP is a voluntary program that helps agricultural producers use environmentally sensitive land for conservation benefits. Producers enrolled in CRP plant long-term, resource-conserving covers to control soil erosion, improve water and air quality and develop wildlife habitat. In return, FSA provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance. Contract duration is between 10 to 15 years. Accepted contracts will begin on Oct. 1, 2013.

The landowner workshop meeting is free, open to the public, and will have information about increased rental rates, how to increase contract acceptance rates, options for landowners with expiring CRP contracts, and other available conservation programs.

To be eligible for placement in general signup CRP, land must be cropland (including field margins) that is planted or considered planted to an agricultural commodity four of the six crop years from 2002 to 2007. It also must be physically and legally capable of being planted (no planting restrictions due to an easement or other legally binding instrument) in a normal manner to an agricultural commodity. Alfalfa or other multiyear grasses and legumes grown in a rotation not to exceed 12 years may be eligible this year.

“CRP continues to be a good option for producers to ensure income on the tough-to-farm and lowest producing acres,” said Dave Nomsen, Pheasants Forever’s Vice President of Government Affairs. “This general signup’s allotment is likely to fill up quickly, so it’s critical that landowners get into these meetings or their local USDA service centers immediately to examine CRP options on their land.”

Since its formation in 1985, Pheasants Forever has been one of the nation’s strongest supporters of CRP. The millions of acres of CRP lands in the United States protect topsoil erosion, improve water and air quality and is a major contributor to increasing wildlife populations — including pheasants and quail — in many parts of the country.

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