Farm Service Agency (FSA) has announced it will hold a general sign up for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) May 20, 2013 through June 14, 2013.

CRP is a voluntary program that helps producers use environmentally sensitive lands for conservation benefits including: erosion control, improving water quality as well as developing wildlife habitat. In return for enrolling land in CRP, FSA provides participants with annual rental payments as well as providing cost share assistance for the development of the cover on the CRP acreage. Land that is currently not enrolled in CRP could be eligible for enrollment as well as land that have contracts expiring September 30, 2013. Acreage that was not accepted in the previous sign up may also be eligible to re-enroll. Again, FSA will accept offers for the general CRP sign up from May 20, 2013 through June 14, 2013.

As for land eligibility, ground that was planted to an Ag commodity four out of six years from 2002-2007 that is currently capable of being planted is eligible for CRP.

FSA Pettis County Executive Director, Brandon Holley says, “Land with CRP expiring this fall is also eligible for re-enrollment in this sign up.”

CRP payment rates are farm specific and are developed based on productivity of the soils within the county and present on the farm. Cost share assistance at the rate of 50% for the establishment of CRP is also included.

The general CRP sign-up will be a competitive sign up which means that each offer will be ranked according to the Environmental Benefits Index. The highest ranking offers will be accepted. Tom Vilsack, the Secretary of Agriculture will decide where the cutoff point is and how many acres will be accepted.

Producers with questions on how to increase their EBI scores, or any other questions regarding the upcoming CRP sign up should contact their local FSA office.

Click here to listen to FSA Executive Director in Pettis County, Brandon Holley talk with KMZU’s Mandy Young: