Farmers Can Put Problem Land Into Conservation Reserve Program Now Until April 6

Date posted - March 22, 2012

Producers who are tired of farming steep side slopes and other environmentally sensitive land can put that land into the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

The general CRP sign-up continues through April 6 at USDA Farm Service Agency offices.

John R. Whitaker, state executive director of the Iowa Farm Service Agency says that for 25 years, they have enrolled and re-enrolled producers into this premiere private lands conservation program. Whitaker says the benefits have been to protect Iowa’s most environmentally sensitive lands and to ensure the sustainability of our groundwater, lakes, rivers, ponds and streams.

Todd Bogenschutz, an Iowa Department of Natural Resources upland game biologist says that CRP acres benefit game birds and animals too.

[audio:http://www.kiwaradio.com/files/Bogenschutz1.mp3|titles=Bogenschutz1]

He says there are certainly benefits to farmers too.

[audio:http://www.kiwaradio.com/files/Bogenschutz2.mp3|titles=Bogenschutz2]

The CRP contracts provide annual rental payments to landowners who in turn agree to use conservation practices that will reduce soil erosion, improve water and air quality, or provide winter cover and food for wildlife.

The DNR says that crop producers who selectively use CRP on problem areas provide cleaner water and air for all Iowans.

Targeting just the steepest part of a field can increase the chance of an offer’s acceptance into CRP. Staff at the USDA Farm Service Center, including NRCS, DNR and Pheasants Forever staff, can provide information on how to effectively use CRP, and what cover crops are best for pheasants, quail, songbirds, and more.

Nationwide about 6.5 million acres of CRP expire this fall.

For more information, call or visit your local county FSA office.

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