Conservation Reserve General Signup Announced

USDA Farm Service Agency North Carolina State Executive Director, Aaron Martin, announced a four week Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general signup, beginning March 12 and ending April 6. CRP has a 25 year legacy of successfully protecting the nations natural resources through voluntary participation, while providing significant economic and environmental benefits to rural communities across the United States.

Its USDAs goal to ensure that CRP addresses North Carolina Countys most critical resource issues, said Martin. CRP is an important program for protecting our most environmentally sensitive lands from erosion and sedimentation, and for ensuring the sustainability of groundwater, lakes, rivers, ponds and streams in North Carolina. As always, we expect strong competition to enroll acres into CRP, and we urge interested producers to maximize their environmental benefits and to make cost effective offers.

CRP is a voluntary program available to agricultural producers to help them use environmentally sensitive land for conservation benefits. North Carolina 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, USDA 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. Producers also are encouraged to look into CRPs other enrollment opportunities offered on a continuous, noncompetitive, signup basis.

Offers for CRP contracts are ranked according to the Environmental Benefits Index (EBI). USDAs Farm Service Agency (FSA) collects data for each of the EBI factors based on the relative environmental benefits for the land offered. Each eligible offer is ranked in comparison to all other offers and selections made from that ranking. FSA uses EBI factors such as  wildlife, air quality, and on farm costs to assess the environmental benefits for the land offered.

For more information on CRP and other FSA programs, visit your local County FSA Service Center at or call the State Office at 919-875-4800. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.