Is your Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contract expiring?
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has been one of the most successful conservation programs in the state of Minnesota. Established in 1985, land enrolled in CRP continues to make major contributions to national efforts to improve water and air quality, prevent soil erosion, protect environmentally sensitive land, and enhance wildlife.
Linda Hennen, State Executive Director for the USDA Minnesota Farm Service Agency (FSA), reminds USDA program participants with expired CRP of the requirement to obtain an approved conservation plan for land classified as Highly Erodible Land (HEL), prior to planting in order to meet USDA program payment eligibility.
To maintain eligibility for USDA program payments, producers are required to implement an appropriate conservation system on all Highly Erodible Land HEL fields. Many farmers with expired CRP acres may be intending to destroy the existing cover in order to prepare the soil for planting. Intensive tillage on expired CRP acres which are also identified as HEL fields may prevent participants from being able to implement a required conservation system. "Conservation systems are specific to each HEL field on a farm. Every farmer with HEL fields should understand the requirements of the conservation system for their farms.", said Don Baloun, Minnesota NRCS State Conservationist.
Keep in mind that field operations and drainage activities performed during winter and spring could impact a producer's compliance status. "All farmers that participate in USDA programs are required to notify USDA of planned drainage activities that have not been previously evaluated. Participants are reminded to file an updated AD-1026 form at their location FSA Service Center." said Linda Hennen.
Participants are encouraged to consider reviewing their conservation systems on fields that are classified as HEL. Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff is available to help make the right choices for an operation based on specific soil resources and characteristics.
For additional information regarding HEL conservation systems and wetland compliance call or stop by your USDA Service Center for an appointment or visit http://www.fsa.usda.gov/crp.