A new Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) sign-up has been announced by USDA, but a limited number of acres will be accepted for enrollment.
Brian Wolford, Farm Service Agency director in Nebraska, says the sign-up begins Aug. 30 at FSA offices and runs through Sept. 24. Offers accepted in this CRP enrollment would become effective Oct. 1, 2005, or Oct. 1, 2006, at the landownerâ€™s discretion.
Since a limited number of acres will be accepted, Wolford says FSA will use its "environmental benefits index" to rank the land submitted. The index is based on costs and five other factors: soil erosion, water quality, enduring quality, air quality and wildlife enhancement.
"Landowners are encouraged to work with FSA offices to maximize the environmental benefits of their CRP offers.
The last general CRP sign-up, in 2003, enrollment offers were highly competitive. Of the 4 million acres offered for enrollment nationally, 2 million acres that offered the greatest environmental benefits were selected. In that sign-up, the Nebraska FSA office accepted 1,699 offers for a total of 81,370 acres.
At present, Nebraska has 1,193,162 acres enrolled in the program, ranking it 11th nationally.
Overall, CRP consists of 34.8 million acres enrolled nationally.
Land accepted in CRP can go under 10- or 15-year contracts.