Conservation Reserve Program Signup & Reassessment
The Conservation Reserve Program has been a successful voluntary participation program for twenty-five years, and was originally designed to address soil erosion. Due to the program’s demonstrated success, CRP has been extended with each new farm bill. Landowners who place their land in CRP?are paid a per acre amount. To be eligible, offered land must have been planted to an annual crop or CRP for a minimum of four years between 02 and 07. The land must also be deemed as highly erodible, or located in the state air or water Conservation Priority Areas, which includes portions of central Washington, or be in a 2012 expiring CRP contract. General signup for the Conservation Reserve Program starts March 12, and ends April 6. For an appointment or more information contact your local FSA office.
As framework for the new farm bill begins concerns are being voiced about the possible need to reassess the Conservation Reserve Program. During a Senate Ag Committee meeting Tuesday several lawmakers told the USDA one of the changes they’d like to see in the program would be to allow more haying and grazing within certain parameters that would encourage producers to keep more acres in the program. In recent drought years the largest complaint by farmers has been that rules allowing hay to be cut or animals grazed on CRP lands are too strict. USDA’s FSA Administrator Bruce Nelson responded to lawmakers.
NELSON: We would look forward to working with the Committee during your discussion of the farm bill on the managed haying and grazing as well as the emergency provisions to see what we could come up with.
I’m Lacy Gray and that’s Washington Ag Today on the Northwest Ag Information Network.