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USDA accepts 3.9 mln acres in new CRP sign-up

Updated: 05/25/2012 @ 1:23pm

USDA will accept 3.9 million acres offered under the 43rd Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up, the agency announced on Friday.

During a five-week signup, landowners submitted nearly 48,000 offers on more than 4.5 million acres of land. The agency has enrolled nearly 12 million acres in the CRP since 2009. Currently, there are more than 29.6 million acres enrolled on more than 736,000 contracts.

A local USDA office told Agriculture.com that the announcement was "preliminary information," and that the state and county lists of landowners accepted into the sign-up are not yet available.

USDA will continue targeting CRP acres through continuous sign-up initiatives—including those announced earlier this year for highly-erodible land, as well as grasslands and wetlands. The two continuous sign-ups announced earlier this year will target an additional 1.75 million acres in total.
In the first continuous sign-up program, USDA encourages landowners with land that has an Erosion Index (EI) of 20 or greater to consider participating in the Highly Erodible Land initiative.  In many cases, according to the agency, "the most cost-effective option to reduce erosion is to put the land into a wildlife friendly cover, which will improve habitat and reduce sediment and nutrient runoff and reduce wind erosion."

The second continuous sign-up will target landowners with sensitive grasslands, wetlands and wildlife habitat. The grasslands and wetlands initiative will expand the number of acres set aside for duck nesting habitat, upland birds, wetlands, and wildlife, and provides benefits for new conservation practices, such as pollinator habitat.


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