Posted 2 years ago
By John Axtell
With the signup period running just 4 weeks and with the strong possibility it will be the last one for the General CRP in several years, Steinkruger is urging producers and landowners to carefully consider the environmental and financial benefits of CRP.
“CRP is an important program in Nebraska for protecting environmentally sensitive land from erosion and sedimentation, improving air quality and ensuring the sustainability of our groundwater, lakes and rivers, ” he says. “CRP helps protect Nebraska’s natural resources, preserve wildlife habitat, and outdoor recreation related to hunting and fishing.
Nebraska producers currently have over 900,000 acres enrolled in CRP and earn nearly $60 million in annual rental payments.
To be eligible, a producer must have owned or operated the offered acreage for at least 12 months prior to the end of the sign-up period (with some exceptions). The land must be cropland planted to an agricultural commodity four of the six crop years from 2002 to 2007 and be physically and legally capable of being planted.
Offers for new acreage and acreage already in CRP but expiring on September 30, 2013 will be considered. Offers will be ranked according to the Environmental Benefits Index (EBI). A cutoff score will determine offers accepted.
FSA provides 50% cost-share assistance to establish the conservation cover and an annual rental payment based on the productivity of the soils and the average dryland cash rent value. Rental rates were recently updated in Nebraska and increased substantially in many counties.
Steinkruger also encourages producers and landowners to look into other CRP enrollment opportunities, including Continuous CRP, State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement Initiative, the Highly Erodible Land Initiative, the Grassland Restoration Initiative, the Pollinator Habitat Initiative, and the Platte-Republican CREP.
Those programs are open on a continuous, non-competitive basis and provide even further financial opportunities and incentives. Sign-up for continuous CRP began on May 13 and will continue through Sept. 30.
For more information on CRP and other FSA programs, visit your local FSA Service Center or www.fsa.usda.gov.