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Illinois hunting and fishing

New CRP signup announced at Pheasant Fest

January 29, 2011 at 04:35 PM

Prairie State Outdoors

The next general signup for the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve Program will begin March 14 and continue through April 5.

This is the second consecutive year a general signup has been offered.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the announcement Jan. 28 at National Pheasant Fest 2011 in Omaha, Ne.

Landowners may apply for the program that provides rental payments and cost-share assistance in exchange for erosion-prone or marginally productive land being taken out of agricultural production.

Grass, trees or other cover is planed and maintained for the life of the contract, up to 15 years.

Eligible land not already under CRP contract can be offered for enrollment, as can land with contracts expiring this fall.

Landowners who apply will have their contract offer ranked according to an environmental benefits.

Contracts become effective Oct. 1.

In addition to the general sign-up, CRP’s continuous sign-up program will be ongoing.

Continuous acres represent the most environmentally desirable and sensitive land.

Through the 2008 Farm Bill, a total of 32 million acres may be enrolled in the program.

Last summer, the USDA accepted 4.3 million acres worth of new CRP contracts from the 4.8 million acres offered during the 27-day signup period. 

The USDA estimates that expiring contracts will amount to 3.3 to 6.5 million acres each year through 1014.

For more information, visit http://www.fsa.usda.gov/crp.

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