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WPC Farm Service: General sign-up underway

Times Report
Crookston Times

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the 2021 signup periods for general Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and CRP Grasslands offers. General signup for CRP is open to February 12, 2021; signup for CRP Grasslands runs from March 15, 2021, to April 23, 2021. Both programs are competitive and provide annual rental payments for land devoted to conservation purposes.

    “The Conservation Reserve Program and the focused programs that come under it, like CRP Grasslands, are a critical tool to help producers manage their operations while conserving natural resources,” said West Polk  County Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director Nathan Johnson. “These signups give our farmers and ranchers an opportunity to enroll in CRP for the first time or continue their participation for another term.”

    The West Polk County FSA office is scheduling phone or virtual appointments for landowners interested in submitting a CRP application.

    To schedule an appointment, call FSA at (218) 281-2809, ext. 2. To aid in answering questions landowners/operators may have about this program the West Polk FSA office has scheduled 2 online CRP workshops. 

    These are scheduled for Jan. 12 and the 20th from 10 – 11 a.m.  FSA and NRCS will lead the training.

    To participate in a workshop, register with the West Polk FSA office at least one day in advance of the scheduled workshop.  The office will then email out a web invitation to participate in the training.

    “CRP is a competitive application process, not first-come, first-served, however it can take some time to complete an application, so interested individuals are encouraged to contact the office soon for an appointment,” said Nathan Johnson.

Enrollment options CRP―general signup

    Through CRP, farmers and ranchers establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees, to control soil erosion, improve water quality, and enhance wildlife habitat on cropland in exchange for annual rental payments. CRP general signup is held annually.

Grasslands signup

    CRP Grasslands helps landowners and operators protect grassland, including rangeland, and pastureland and certain other lands while maintaining the areas as grazing lands.

    Protecting grasslands contributes positively to the economy of many regions, provides biodiversity of plant and animal populations and improves environmental quality. A separate CRP Grasslands signup is offered each year following general signup.

    Signed into law in 1985, CRP is one of the largest private-lands conservation programs in the United States.

    For more information on CRP, visit fsa.usda.gov or contact your local FSA county office.