INDIANAPOLIS -- USDA Farm Service Agency in Indiana Executive Director Julia A. Wickard recently announced contacts for the General Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) signup for fiscal year (FY) 2012 have been awarded.
In Indiana, 6,811 acres have been accepted into General CRP this spring.
During the 41st General CRP signup conducted this spring, more than 38,000 CRP offers were received on approximately 3.8 million acres nationwide. USDA accepted enrollment of 2.8 million acres bringing the total program enrollment to 29.9 million acres.
"The accepted CRP contacts continue the past quarter century of program success by providing a low risk opportunity to implement a variety of conservation practices on environmentally sensitive land here in Indiana," Wickard said.
"CRP practices improve water and air quality, increase wildlife habitat and prevent soil erosion. CRP is the nation's largest conservation program and our dedicated employees are proud to provide it for Hoosier farmers."
How successful is CRP? According to Wickard, since its inception 25 years ago, CRP acres have resulted in an eight billion ton reduction in soil erosion, restoration of two million acres of wetlands and adjacent buffers, vegetative protection of more than 200,000 stream bank buffers and significant increases in upland wildlife numbers, which translates to recreational dollars for many rural economies.
Landowners enrolled in CRP receive annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term, resource conserving covers on eligible farmland.
Accepted contracts become effective Oct. 1, 2011.
All General CRP offers were evaluated and ranked using an Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) that indicates the environmental benefits of enrolling land in CRP.
The EBI is composed of five environmental factors plus cost: Wildlife enhancement, water quality, soil erosion, air quality and enduring benefits.
For more information about the Conservation Reserve Program, contact the local FSA county office at 446-8986 or log onto www.fsa.usda.gov/crp.