Decision, decisions, decisions. Something we must make every moment of every day. Right now I am trying to decide how to write an informative but not too lengthy article on the many options available when it comes to enrolling land in the Conservation Reserve Program. It is a good thing this computer comes with a delete key!
Signup for the Conservation Reserve Program will end Aug. 27. This does not leave producers with much time to make their decision. I am going to review a couple points that should be considered.
Maybe one of these points will give you an idea of a field that may benefit from this program. Maybe it will leave you with more questions which will require you to call or visit your local Farm Service Agency as soon as possible to get answers. So let’s get started.
First you must ask yourself if you have a low producing field or two that would benefit by taking it out of crop production in exchange for a yearly rental payment from USDA.
Remember you do not have to take the entire field out of production. You may want to look at the field and only offer the portion that has a low productivity rate or may be on a higher slope.
To meet eligibility criteria, the field had to be planted to an agriculture commodity in four of the six years from 2002 to 2007. It may be a hay field that is within a 12-year rotation. It may be land that was previously covered under a CRP contract that expired.
Your local FSA office can determine if the field or portion of a field is eligible to be offered into the CRP program.
Once you have selected the field, the producer must determine what cover he/she wants on this field for the next 10 years. The options are many and each cover provides a different Environmental Benefit Index that is used to rank your offer.
Remember cost share assistance is available to help with the cost of completing this practice. Some options for cover are: cool season grasses, native grasses, hardwood trees, softwood trees, wildlife habitat, wildlife food plot, pollinator habitat and water development.
Once again, you do not have to select one practice for the entire field. You can mix them up.
Technical assistance is available through the Division of Wildlife and the Natural Resource and Conservation Service. Both agencies will listen to what you want and help you maximize your EBI points for your offer.
The last item that you may want to consider when placing your offer is the rental rate you are willing to accept. If you are willing to lower your rental rate, you will receive additional points in determination of your EBI points.
Your soil rental rate is determined based on soil type and once again your local Farm Service Agency will assist you with this. All offers must be submitted to the FSA County office by close of business Aug. 27. The offers will then be collected and compared on a national level. The Secretary of Agriculture will determine what offers are accepted or denied.
Well, that was a quick review on signing up land into the 39th Sign Up for the Conservation Reserve Program. As the last reminder for the CRP Program, sign up ends Aug. 27 and contact your local FSA office with any questions you may have or to enroll land.
That’s all for now,