Julia A. Wickard, state executive director of USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA), has announced that the deadline for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) General Signup 43 has been extended to April 13, 2012.
"This extension will give eligible producers an additional week to make this important decision to submit an offer for enrollment in CRP," Wickard stated. "During this time, Indiana producers may offer existing CRP acreage expiring September 30, 2012, as well as new acreage with conservation concerns."
After the CRP general signup ends on April 13, FSA will evaluate offers based on cost and the Environmental Benefits Index (EBI). The EBI takes into consideration variables such as wildlife habitat, water quality protection, soil erosion reduction, air quality protection and other enduring benefits. Accepted offers will become effective Oct. 1, 2012.
CRP is a voluntary program available to agricultural producers to help them use environmentally sensitive land for conservation benefits. Producers enrolled in CRP plant long-term, resource-conserving covers to improve the quality of water, control soil erosion and develop wildlife habitat. In return, USDA provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance. Contract duration is between 10 and 15 years. Producers with expiring contracts and producers with environmentally sensitive land are encouraged to evaluate their options under CRP.