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Published August 18, 2010, 12:00 AM

USDA announces Conservation Reserve Program general sign-up

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that a general sign-up for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has begun and will continue through Friday, August 27, 2010.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that a general sign-up for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has begun and will continue through Friday, August 27, 2010.

During the sign-up period, farmers and ranchers may offer eligible land for CRP’s competitive general sign-up at their local county Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. The 2008 Farm Bill authorized USDA to maintain CRP enrollment up to 32 million acres.

America’s farmers and ranchers play an important role in improving our environment, and for nearly 25 years, CRP has helped this nation build sound conservation practices that preserve the soil, clean our water, and restore habitat for wildlife.

CRP is a voluntary program that assists farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers to use their environmentally sensitive land for conservation benefits.

By reducing water runoff and sedimentation, CRP also protects groundwater and helps improve the condition of lakes, rivers, ponds and streams. Acreage enrolled in the CRP is planted to resource-conserving vegetative covers, making the program a major contributor to wildlife population increases in many parts of the country. As a result, CRP has provided significant opportunities for hunting and fishing on private lands.

Land currently not enrolled in CRP may be offered in this sign-up provided all eligibility requirements are met. Additionally, current CRP participants with contracts expiring this fall covering about 4.5 million acres may make new contract offers.

Contracts awarded under this sign-up are scheduled to become effective October 1, 2010.

Landowners located in Douglas County can contact their local FSA office at (320) 763-3191, extension 2 for more information regarding this sign-up process.

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