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Conservation Reserve Program Enrollment Opens

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From the Wildlife Society's policy news feed:
A filter strip, installed as part of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), removes sediment and fertilizer-laden runoff along a stream that runs through a farmland in Carver County, Minnesota. Landowners can begin enrolling for the CRP, which compensates them for taking land out of production and carrying out various conservation techniques to improve environmental health and quality.(Credit: Carver County Government, Minnesota)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency announced the reopening of continuous enrollment under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) — a Farm Bill initiative that compensates farmers who take environmentally sensitive land out of production and instead plant species that improve the health and quality of the land, such as clovers and buckwheat that control erosion. The CRP — first launched in 1985, then closed after the 2008 Farm Bill expired last September — was reauthorized under the 2014 Farm Bill. One of the largest voluntary conservation programs in the country, the CRP currently covers approximately 16.5 million acres of private land across the United States.

That might be changing, however. According to the Farm Service Agency, which administers the CRP, two million acres currently covered by the CRP will be expiring this September. In addition, based on the 2014 Farm Bill, the cap on the total acreage enrolled in the program will be gradually reduced over time —causing concern among some conservation groups since this will lead to a reduction in the number of acres covered by this critical conservation program.


Sources: USDA (accessed June, 2014), Farm Service Agency (accessed June, 2014), Energy and Environment News (June 4, 2014)


Recent Related TWS Articles: New Farm Bill Includes Continues Conservation Measures, Wildlife Policy News, February 7, 2014


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