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Conservation Reserve Program general signup underway

Vincent Marshall
Dodge City Daily Globe
The Conservation Reserve Program, a program for annual rent payments for conservation on devoted land, signup is underway now through Feb. 12 for ag producers and land owners.

The Conservation Reserve Program sign up is underway for ag producers and land owners through Feb. 12, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency.

The CRP is a program for annual rent payments for conservation on devoted land.

“This signup for the Conservation Reserve Program gives producers and landowners an opportunity to enroll for the first time or continue their participation for another term,” FSA state director David Schemm said. “This program encourages conservation on sensitive lands or low-yielding acres, which provides tremendous benefits for stewardship of our natural resources and wildlife.”

The annual signup includes opportunities for wildlife habitat enrollment with the goal of boosting local regions economy which establishes conserving plant species, approved grasses or trees, soil erosion control, water quality improvement and the enhancement of wildlife habitat on cropland.

According to the FSA, new croplands offered must have been planted for four out of six crop years from 2012 to 2017.

For those already enrolled with expiration coming on Sept. 30, re-enrollment will be available in 2021.

Since its inception in 1985, according to FSA, the program has:

• Prevented more than 9 billion tons of soil from eroding, which is enough soil to fill 600 million dump trucks.

• Reduced nitrogen and phosphorous runoff relative to annually tilled cropland by 95% and 85%, respectively.

• Sequestered an annual average of 49 million tons of greenhouse gases, equal to taking 9 million cars off the road.

• Created more than 3 million acres of restored wetlands while protecting more than 175,000 stream miles with riparian forest and grass buffers, which is enough to go around the world seven times.

• Benefited bees and other pollinators and increasing populations of ducks, pheasants, turkey, bobwhite quail, prairie chickens, grasshopper sparrows and many other birds.

To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com.