USDA announces Conservation Reserve Program general signup for 2024


The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that agricultural producers and private landowners can now sign up for the general Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

The general signup period runs through March 29. This opportunity gives producers tools to conserve wildlife habitat while achieving other conservation benefits, including sequestering carbon and improving water quality and soil health, according to a news release from the USDA.

“The USDA has a long track record of fostering and supporting the vital relationship between production agriculture and conservation, and the Conservation Reserve Program helps our producers be good stewards of their lands and boost wildlife populations at the same time,” said Julia A. Wickard, executive director of the Farm Service Agency in Indiana. “These efforts demonstrate the power of USDA’s Farm Bill conservation programs to conserve wildlife habitat, protect clean water and safeguard environmentally sensitive land in partnership with farmers, forest owners and conservation organizations across the country.”

As one of the largest private lands conservation programs in the United States, CRP offers a range of conservation options to farmers, ranchers and landowners. It has been an especially strong opportunity for farmers with less productive or marginal cropland, helping them re-establish valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and support wildlife habitat.

Producers and landowners enrolled about 926,000 acres in General CRP in 2023, bringing the total of enrolled acres in General CRP to 7.78 million. This, combined with all other acres in CRP through other enrollment opportunities, such as Grassland and Continuous CRP, bring the current total of enrolled acres to 24.8 million.

Landowners and producers interested in CRP should contact their local USDA Service Center to learn more or to apply for the program before their deadlines. In Jackson County, call the USDA Center at 1350 Woodside Drive at 812-358-2367.

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