For Immediate Release
February 1, 2012
Ethel Truly, Communications Coordinator
Jackson, Miss. (Feb.1, 2012) — The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, Michael R. Sullivan, today announced that FSA will soon conduct a four-week Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up. This CRP sign-up will begin on March12, 2012, and end on April 6, 2012.
CRP has a 25-year legacy of protecting the nation's natural resources while providing significant economic and environmental benefits to rural communities across the United States. It 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, FSA 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.
A producer interested in a CRP contract through the upcoming general signup must make an offer, and all offers will be ranked according to the Environmental Benefits Index (EBI). FSA will collect data for each of the EBI factors based on the relative environmental benefits of the land offered. Each eligible offer will be ranked against all other offers, and selections will be made strictly from that ranking. FSA uses the following EBI factors to assess the environmental benefits of land offered:
- wildlife habitat benefits resulting from covers on contract acreage;
- water quality benefits from reduced erosion, runoff and leaching;
- on-farm benefits from reduced erosion;
- benefits that will likely endure beyond the contract period;
- air quality benefits from reduced wind erosion; and
Producers also are encouraged to look into CRP’s other enrollment opportunities offered on a continuous and non-competitive sign-up basis. For more information on CRP and other FSA programs, visit an FSA office or go online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay).