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2011-03-10

FSA announces Conservation Reserve Program signup

USDA Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA)

Juan M. Garcia, executive director for the USDA Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA), announced a Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) signup, beginning on March 14 and continuing through April 15, 2011. This is the second consecutive year that USDA has offered a general CRP signup.
"Financial incentives available through CRP afford farmers and ranchers a low risk opportunity to implement a variety of conservation practices that will benefit the environment in a number of ways," said Garcia. "Over the past 25 years, CRP practices have improved water and air quality, increased wildlife habitat and prevented soil erosion."
Landowners enrolled in the CRP program receive annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term, resource-conserving covers on eligible farmland. Land that is not currently enrolled in CRP can be offered during signup if all eligibility requirements are met. CRP participants with contracts expiring this fall can make new contract offers during the signup period. Contracts awarded during this general signup will become effective Oct. 1.
All CRP offers are evaluated and ranked using an Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) that indicates the environmental benefits of enrolling land in CRP. Five environmental factors make up the EBI - wildlife, water, soil, air, enduring benefits and cost. Decisions will be made following the end of the sign-up period and after analyzing EBI data on all of the offers.