Julia A. Wickard, state executive director for the USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Indiana announced that contracts for the General Conservation Reserve Program signup for fiscal year 2013 have been awarded. In Indiana, 646 offers totaling 12,893.1 acres have been accepted.
During the 43rd General CRP signup conducted this spring, more than 47,900 CRP offers were received on approximately 4.5 million acres nationwide. USDA accepted enrollment of 3.9 million acres bringing the total program enrollment to 27.5 million acres by Oct. 1, 2012.
Indiana FSA boasts over 38,000 active CRP contracts with a total enrollment of 280,777 acres. Indiana will have 36,152 CRP acres expiring Sept. 30. This includes acreage that was enrolled under previous general signups and environmentally sensitive continuous signups. Additional statistics for Indiana and other states by signup, practice, and county can be found online at www.fsa.usda.gov/crp.
“The accepted CRP contracts continue the past quarter century of program success by providing a low risk opportunity to implement a variety of conservation practices on environmentally sensitive land here in Indiana,” said Wickard. “CRP practices improve water and air quality, increase wildlife habitat and prevent soil erosion. CRP is the nation’s largest conservation program and our dedicated employees are proud to provide it for Hoosier farmers.”
Indiana FSA Offices are currently contacting those landowners who submitted enrollment offers. Those producers who agree to complete contracts may receive annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to implement conservation practices on the affected acreage.
All General CRP offers were evaluated and ranked using an Environmental Benefits Index that indicates the environmental benefits of enrolling land in CRP. The EBI is comprised of five environmental factors plus cost: wildlife enhancement, water quality, soil erosion, air quality, and enduring benefits.
Indiana landowners and farm operators who were either not accepted during the General Signup or have resource concerns that could be addressed through CRP programs such as the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, State Acres for Wildlife, or Continuous CRP are encouraged to contact their local FSA county office.