Conservation Reserve Program sign-up continues through June 14

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Shelbyville Farm Service Agency reminds farmers that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is conducting a four-week Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up beginning May 20 and ending on June 14. FSA also recently announced the restart of sign-up for continuous CRP. Sign-up for continuous CRP began on May 13 and will continue through Sept. 30, 2013.
“As always, we expect strong competition to enroll acres into CRP, and we urge interested producers to maximize their environmental benefits and to make cost-effective offers,” said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “CRP is an important program for protecting environmentally sensitive lands from erosion and sedimentation, and for ensuring the sustainability of our groundwater, lakes, rivers, ponds and streams. Through the voluntary participation of our farmers and ranchers, CRP helps us to protect our natural resources, preserve wildlife habitat and bring good paying jobs to rural America related to hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation.”
 CRP has a 27-year legacy of successfully protecting the nation’s natural resources through voluntary participation, while providing significant economic and environmental benefits to rural communities across the United States. Producers enrolled in CRP plant long-term, resource-conserving covers to improve the quality of water, control soil erosion and develop wildlife habitat. In return, USDA provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance. Contract duration is between 10 and 15 years. Currently, 27 million acres are enrolled in CRP through 700,000 contracts on 390,000 farms throughout the U.S., with enrollment in 49 states and Puerto Rico. Contracts on an estimated 3.3 million acres will expire on Sept. 30, 2013. Enrollment authority for all types of CRP, which had expired Sept. 30, 2012, was extended through 2013 by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.
 For more information on CRP and other FSA programs, visit a local FSA service center or www.fsa.usda.gov.