USDA Farm Service Agency Administrator Bruce Nelson says the deadline for the Conservation Reserve Program sign-up has been extended to Friday – April 13th. He says the decision is a result of strong interest in the program. Once the sign-up ends – FSA will evaluate offers based on cost and the Environmental Benefits Index. The EBI considers several variables including wildlife habitat, water quality protection, soil erosion reduction, air quality protection and other enduring benefits. The accepted offers will become effective on October 1st.
CRP has a 25-year legacy of successfully protecting the nation's natural resources through voluntary participation. USDA says highlights include the restoration of more than two-million acres of wetlands and two-million acres of riparian buffers; keeping more than 600-million pounds of nitrogen and more than 100-million pounds of phosphorous from flowing into the nation’s streams, rivers and lakes each year; and in 2010 -resulting in carbon sequestration equal to taking almost 10-million cars off the road.
Nelson encourages all eligible farmers and ranchers to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in CRP. Producers can contact their local FSA service center or fsa dot usda dot gov slash crp (www.fsa.usda.gov/crp) for more information.