The United States has a new president and many new faces at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. One result is that the Feb. 12 deadline for the Conservation Reserve Program general signup has been extended.

"USDA will continue to accept offers as it takes this opportunity for the incoming Administration to evaluate ways to increase enrollment," USDA said in a written statement released Friday, Feb. 5.

It wasn't clear from the statement when the new deadline will be.

CRP, perhaps America's best-known conservation program, pays landowners to take agricultural land out of production.

The current general signup gives producers an opportunity to enroll land for the first time or re-enroll land under existing contracts that will be expiring Sept. 30, 2021. All interested producers, including those on Indian reservations and with trust lands, are encouraged to contact their local USDA Service Center for more information.. USDA said.

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USDA notes that all its service centers "are open for business, including those that restrict in-person visits or require appointments." Social distancing guidelines, as well as the requirement for visitors to wear a face covering during their appointment, are in place.

More information: farmers.gov/coronavirus.