Conservation Reserve Program, General Sign-Up 43

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Lindsay Locke, Acting County Executive Director of the Cannon County Farm Service Agency, announces the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) General Sign-up 43 will begin March 12 and will continue through April 6, 2012. Producers can sign up at the Cannon County Farm Service Agency located at 740 Old McMinnville Rd. in Woodbury.

CRP is a voluntary program that helps agriculture producers use environmentally sensitive land for conservations benefits. Producers enrolled in CRP plant long-term. Producers enrolled in CRP plant long-term, resource conserving covers to control soil erosion, improve water and air quality and develop wildlife habitat. In return, FSA provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance.

FSA bases rental rates payments on the relative productivity of the soils within each county and the average dryland cash rent or cash rent equivalent. The maximum CRP rental rate is calculated in advance of enrollment. Producers may offer land at that rate or offer a lower rental rate to increases the likelihood that their offer will be accepted.

FSA provides cost-share assistance to participants who establish approved cover on eligible cropland. The cost-share assistance cannot exceed 50 percent of the cost to establish approved practices. Contract duration is between 10 to 15 years. Contracts accepted for CRP sign-up 43 will begin October 1, 2012.

To be eligible for CRP enrollment, a producer must have owned or operated the land for at least 12 months prior to the close of the sign-up period, unless:

• The new owner acquired the land due to the previous owner’s death;

• The ownership change occurred due to foreclosure where the owner exercised a timely right or redemption in accordance with state law; or

• The circumstances of the acquisition present adequate assurance to FSA that the new owner did not acquire the land for the purpose of placing it in CRP.

Land that is not currently enrolled in CRP may be offered for enrollment during CRP sign-up 43. In addition, CRP participants with contracts expiring on September 30, 2012, may submit offers. To be eligible land must have been planted in an agricultural commodity during four of the six crop years 2002 to 2007 and be physically capable of being planted in an agricultural commodity in a normal manner. In addition to the eligible land requirements, land must meet one of the following criteria:

• Have a weighted average erosion index of 8 or higher;

• Be expiring CRP acreage; or

• Be located in a national or state CRP conservation priority area.

The Farm Service Agency will rank evaluate and rank eligible CRP offers using the Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) for environmental benefits to be gained from enrolling land in CRP. Decisions on the EBI cutoff will be made after the sign-up ends and after analyzing the EBI numbers of all the offers. Interested producers can consult with local USDA experts on how to maximize EBI points and increase the likelihood that their off will be accepted.

For more information on CRP or to submit CRP offers contact the Cannon County FSA Office at (615)563-4321 ext 2.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay).

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