Farm Service announces accepted CRP offers
James B. Douglass, USDA Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA) acting executive director, announced that 767,242 acres were accepted during the 43rd Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general signup, bringing the total number of active CRP acres in Texas to 3,302,035.
Nationwide, USDA accepted enrollment of 3.9 million acres bringing the total program enrollment to 29.6 million acres.
"For more than 25 years, CRP has protected natural resources in Texas while providing economic and environmental benefits to rural communities throughout the state," said Douglass. "The newly accepted CRP offers will continue the CRP legacy by improving water and air quality, increasing wildlife habitat and preventing soil erosion."
Landowners enrolled in CRP receive annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term, resource-conserving covers on eligible farmland. Accepted contracts will become effective Oct. 1.
According to Douglass, during 2011, CRP acres nationwide reduced nitrogen losses from farm fields by 623 million pounds and phosphorus losses by 124 million pounds. CRP has also restored more than two million acres of wetlands and associated buffers and reduces soil erosion by more than 300 million tons per year.
All CRP signup 43 offers were evaluated and ranked using the Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) that consists of the following five environmental factors plus cost: wildlife enhancement, water quality, soil erosion, enduring benefits and air quality. The national average rental rate per acre for this sign-up is $51.24.
For more information about the Conservation Reserve Program, please contact a local FSA office or visit http://www.fsa.usda.gov/crp.