Larry Lago, County Executive Director for the Dickinson & Emmet County Farm Service Agency reminds producers that a four-week Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up began May 20 and ends on June 14 and that the restart of sign-up for continuous CRP program.
Continuous CRP includes the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement Initiative (SAFE), Highly Erodible Land Initiative, Wetland Restoration Initiative, Pollinator Habitat Initiative, Upland Bird Habitat Buffer Initiative, and Duck Nesting Habitat Initiative. Sign-up for continuous CRP began on May 13 and will continue through Sept. 30, 2013.
"Through the continuous CRP, we are able to offer options for a variety of goals for the landowner," said Lago. "Producers who would like to address a soil erosion concern could use the filter strips or grassed waterway practices as options. But we also have options for those interested in increasing wildlife habitat or water quality. This program has many practices available."
Practices can be enrolled anytime through Sept. 30 and are non-competitive. Those who have expiring continuous CRP contracts can also re-enroll until that date.
In addition to those mentioned, SAFE projects are available that specifically target wildlife concerns in Emmet County. They are: Gaining Ground for Wildlife and the Iowa Pheasant Recovery. State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement or SAFE is a voluntary program that is available under the Conservation Reserve Program continuous sign up. This is designed to address state and regional high-priority wildlife objectives. Acres for SAFE enrollment cannot exceed acreage limitations.
The Conservation Reserve Program is a voluntary program, which helps participants use their environmentally sensitive land for conservation benefits. These producers will plant long-term resource-conserving covers in return for annual rental payments, cost share, and technical assistance. This program assists in creating new wildlife habitat and enhancing water, soil, and water quality through a variety of covers that can be established on the offered land.
To be eligible basic CRP eligibility requirements must be met. Eligible land is cropland that was planted or considered planted to an agricultural commodity during four of the six years 2002 to 2007. The land must be physically and legally capable of being planted in a normal manner to an agricultural commodity. The cover already established on the land must not already effectively treat the resource concern being addressed.