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Conservation Program Enrollment Returns

Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) enrollment is back up with a one year extension.

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) stopped accepting applications last fall for CRP continuous signup to review available acres and avoid exceeding the 24 million acre cap set up by the 2014 Farm Bill. CRP enrollment currently is about 22.7 million acres.

There is general and continuous extension going on for producers whose contracts have fewer than 15 years of life on them and then a new enrollment for continuous CRP in water quality practices.

But the sign up period is shorter than usual. Normally it starts in October, this year there are only about two months before the August 17th deadline.

The FSA says new limited practice availability and short sign up periods help ensure landowners with sensitive acreage will enroll and avoid unintended competition with new and beginning farmers seeking leases.

Director of the Iowa FSA Amanda De Jong says, "We've kind of been sitting, not being able to take any applications since last Fall, so producers are excited, we're very busy. Our county offices this week, we've got a lot of producers coming in to talk about their options for CRP."

The enrollment is part of a 33 year effort to protect sensitive lands and improve water quality and wildlife habitat on private lands.