From Missouri Department of Conservation
-- Over the past 26 years, the Federal Conservation Reserve Program under the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency has created millions of acres of upland and wetland habitat for quail, pheasants, ducks, deer, turkeys and a wide array of nongame wildlife by offering payments to farmers for taking highly erodible farmland out of production.
Efforts continue with the programs call for a CRP general sign-up March 12 through April 6.
Landowners enrolled in CRP receive annual payments and cost-share assistance to establish long term, resource-conserving covers on eligible farmland. CRP is a voluntary program that helps agricultural producers use environmentally sensitive land for conservation benefits.
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. Contract duration is between 10 to 15 years.
The USDA reports an estimated 6.5 million CRP acres are scheduled to expire nationwide in September; more than 377,000 of those acres are in Missouri.
Farmers and eligible landowners interested in determine program eligibility, options, seeding mixes and maintenance requirements to help sustain healthy forests, fish and wildlife are encouraged to speak with Department of Conservation staff.
To find local MDC Private Land Conservationists under “Who’s My Local Contact,” visit www.mdc.mo.gov.
For more information on the CRP general signup and other conservation programs, contact the local USDA Service Center and speak with an FSA representative or MDC Private Land Conservationist. For more details, visit the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov/crp.