Tricounty News

CRP highly erodible land initiative



Farm Service Agency announces continuous sign-up for CRP highly erodible land initiative

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director, Linda Hennen for Minnesota, announced that continuous sign-up for the Highly Erodible Land Initiative (HELI) under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) started July 23, 2012. Minnesota received a total allocation of 11,200 acres to enroll in the HELI CRP program. Offers will be accepted until either the state acreage allocation limit is reached or Sept. 30, 2012, whichever occurs first.

"CRP is a voluntary program that has protected environmentally sensitive land for more than 25 years," said Hennen. "This initiative will accept offers with an erosion rate of at least 20 tons per acre per year for new cropland or CRP acres that expire on Sept. 30, 2012; however, existing grass stands that are not considered expiring CRP will not be considered eligible," she said.

Producers can stop by the local USDA FSA Service Center to determine if their land qualifies for the Highly Erodible Land Initiative and to receive additional location-specific details.

Landowners enrolled in CRP receive annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term, resource conserving covers on eligible farmland. Incentive payments are not authorized under this initiative.

New land contracts approved during this continuous sign-up initiative will become effective the first day of the month following the month of approval and are valid for 10 years.

CRP contracts set to expire on Sept. 30, 2012, may be offered for consideration and approved contracts will become effective Oct. 1, 2012, and are also valid for 10 years.

Producers are encouraged to contact their local FSA service center or visit FSA's website at www.fsa.usda.gov/crp, for additional information regarding CRP.