Sign-up for the Highly Erodible Land Initiative under the Conservation Reserve Program began Monday. The initiative was announced by Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack in February to protect up to 750-thousand acres of the nation’s most highly erodible croplands. Enrollment will continue until that 750-thousand acre limit is met. Vilsack says CRP is an important program with more than 25 years of success in protecting the nation’s natural resources through voluntary participation.
CRP is a voluntary program that helps farmers, ranchers and other ag producers protect their environmentally sensitive land. There are currently 29.6-million acres enrolled in the program. Through the Highly Erodible Land Initiative – eligible landowners receive annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term, resource conserving covers on eligible cropland for a period of 10 years. Croplands are eligible for enrollment if they have an Erodibility Index of 20 or greater.