CRP General Signup extended
The USDA is extending the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) General Signup period. The deadline is no longer February 12, 2021, and a new deadline has not been set.
“USDA will continue to accept offers as it takes this opportunity for the incoming Administration to evaluate ways to increase enrollment. Before the General CRP signup period ends, producers will have the opportunity to adjust or resubmit their offers to take advantage of planned improvements to the program," says a USDA spokesperson.
This signup for CRP gives producers and opportunity to enroll land for the first time or re-enroll land under existing contracts that will be expiring on September 30, 2021. All interested producers, including those on Indian reservations and with trust lands, are encouraged to contact thier local USDA Service Center for more information.
CRP is administred by USDA’s FSA and provides annual rental payments for land devoted to conservation purposes for 10 to 15 years, as well as other types of payments.
“The Conservation Reserve Program provides a tremendous opportunity to address climate change both by retiring marginal cropland and by restoring grasslands, wetlands, and forests,” says Robert Bonnie, Deputy chief of staff, office of the secretary. “CRP has a 35-year track record of success beyond just climate benefits, by providing income to producers, improving water quality, reducing erosion, and supporting wildlife habitat and the hunting and fishing opportunities that go along with it. By extending this sign-up period, we’ll have time to evaluate and implement changes to get this neglected program back on track.”
USDA touts the following statistics as economic and conservation successes of CRP:
- Sequestering over 12 milion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in soils and plants. This is about the same amount that state of Deleware emits annually.
- Preventing more than 2 billion tons of soil from being blown away by wind erosion over the life of currently enrolled acres.
- Reducing phosphorus reaching streams by almost 85 million pounds, nitrogen by nearly 450 million pounds, and sediment by over 160 million tons in 2020.
- Creating more than 2.3 million acres of restored wetlands while proteccting more than 177,000 stream miles with riparian forest and grass buffers.
- Establishing over .5 million acres of dedicated pollinator habitat and nealy 15 million more acres of diverse plantings that provide forage for pollinators.
- Increasing populations of ducks and other game birds, prairie chickens, and such grassland songbirds as Baird’s sparrow. CRP in the Northern Great Plains supports an estimated 8.6% of the grassland bird population.
- Increasing habitat that supports economic opportunities, such as job creation, related to hunting and fishing activities.