WASHINGTON – USDA accepted 1.188 million acres of environmentally sensitive land into the Conservation Reserve Program in the latest round of sign-ups.
FSA offices will begin notifying producers of acceptable and rejected offers immediately. Producers have 15 days to decide whether to continue with the offer to participate.
Protects most fragile. First established by Congress in 1985, the Conservation Reserve Program allows eligible farmers and ranchers to voluntarily establish long-term conservation practices on highly erodible and environmentally sensitive cropland.
In exchange, they receive 10 to 15 years of annual rental payments and cost-share assistance for maintaining those practices.
High acceptance rate. For this 29th sign-up, USDA selected 1.188 million acres of the 1.672 million acres offered in this sign-up.
This is one of the highest acceptance rates in the history of CRP, as 76 percent of the bids offered were accepted.
Nationally, USDA received slightly more than 26,000 offers for enrollment. Of those, 19,372 were accepted.
Environmental ranking. In the CRP selection process, an Environmental Benefits Index is used. It ranks CRP offers based on five environmental factors as well as a cost factor, has been updated to reflect the addition of carbon sequestration.
The environmental factors are: soil erosion; water quality; enduring benefits; air quality; and wildlife enhancement. Offers with an index score of at least 248 were considered acceptable for enrollment. The average environmental benefits score of this sign-up is 287.
Pennsylvania landowners and producers made 65 offers totaling 1,747 acres. Forty-one were accepted, enrolling 1,067.9 acres.
In Ohio, 906 offers were submitted, encompassing 21,400.3 acres. USDA accepted 616 offers enrolling 13,263.8 acres
Offers accepted under this sign-up may become effective either Oct. 1, 2005, or in the following year on Oct. 1, 2006, whichever the producer chooses.
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