As the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) celebrates its 35-year anniversary in 2020, agricultural operators have an opportunity to participate in a General Sign-up, which is open until February 28, 2020. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is hoping to see one of the largest signups in many years since a CRP General Sign-up hasn’t occurred since 2015-2016. Additionally, the 2018 Farm Bill expanded the program acreage cap to 27 million acres, a welcome increase from the current cap of 24 million acres. According to Jim Inglis, director of governmental affairs for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, “with the CRP cap raised to 27 million acres and millions of acres set to expire, there is a significant opportunity for enrollment of more than 8 million acres over the next year.”
The CRP General Sign-up is a competitive process and offers are ranked against each other on a national level. Offers made during a CRP General Sign-up are ranked by an Environmental Benefits Index score that is primarily based on location, soils information, and the selected conservation practice. Producers are encouraged to visit their local USDA service center to help assess enrollment options and submit offers. Additionally, Pheasants Forever’s team of Farm Bill Biologists are coordinating information meetings throughout the state so that landowners can learn how CRP can increase their income with flexible programs that fit their land and operations.
CRP is a voluntary land conservation program administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). In exchange for annual rental payments, farmers enrolled in the program agree to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and plant conserving covers that will improve environmental health and quality. Contracts for land enrolled in CRP are 10-15 years in length. The long-term goal of the program is to re-establish valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and reduce loss of wildlife habitat.
The deadline for agricultural producers to sign up for general CRP is February 28, 2020, while signup for continuous CRP is ongoing. For more information, visit CRPsignup.com.
CRP Information Meeting Schedule
|JAN 09 – CROFTON | CITY AUDITORIUM – 2:00 PM||JAN 22 – HAYES CENTER | AMERICAN LEGION HALL – 2:00 PM|
|JAN 15 – HERMAN | HERMAN FIRE HALL – 7:00 PM||JAN 23 – TECUMSEH | TECUMSEH FIRE HALL – 1:00 PM|
|JAN 21 – BROKEN BOW | MID PLAINS COMMUNITY COLLEGE – 10:00 AM||JAN 23 – FRANKLIN | BLACK POWDER BAR & GRILL – 2:00 PM|
|JAN 21 – FALLS CITY | FALLS CITY PUBLIC LIBRARY – 10:30 AM||JAN 23 – TRENTON | TCDC BUILDING – 2:00 PM|
|JAN 21 – IMPERIAL | MID PLAINS COMMUNITY COLLEGE – 11:00 AM||JAN 23 – ST. PAUL | ST. PAUL COMMUNITY LIBRARY – 6:00 PM|
|JAN 21 – OGALLALA | LAKE MCCONAUGHY VISITOR CENTER – 1:00PM||JAN 23 – SIDNEY | SOUTH PLATTE NRD – 9:00 AM|
|JAN 21 – FAIRBURY | JEFFERSON COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS – 2:00 PM||JAN 24 – FREMONT | UNL EXTENSION OFFICE – 1:00 PM|
|JAN 21- MCCOOK | RED COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS 4-H BUILDING- 2:00 PM||JAN 27 – WAYNE | MAX BAR & GRILL – 5:30 PM|
|JAN 22 – ARAPAHOE | ELLA MISSING COMMUNITY CENTER – 11:00 AM||JAN 27 – SCOTTSBLUFF | NORTH PLATTE NRD – 1:00 PM|
|JAN 22 – GRANT | MIDWEST ELECTRIC CONFERENCE ROOM – 11:00 AM||JAN 28 – LINCOLN | UNL EXTENSION OFFICE – 6:00 PM|
|JAN 22 – ALLIANCE | ALLIANCE PUBLIC LIBRARY – 1:00 PM||JAN 28 – DAVID CITY | HRUSKA MEMORIAL LIBRARY – 1:00 PM|