BOZEMAN — Important deadlines for farmers and ranchers are quickly approaching for the the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Conservation Reserve Program.
Signed into law by President Reagan in 1985, the Conservation Reserve Program is one of the largest private land conservation programs in the nation. USDA is reminding landowners of two important enrollment deadlines for the program.
Through the Conservation Reserve Program producers and landowners establish long-term resource conserving plant species such as approved grasses or trees to control soil, erosion, improve water quality, and enhance wildlife habitat on Cropland.
Currently underway, the general signup period will end on July 23rd.
Zach Ducheneaux with the Farm Service Agency explained, "The deadline is July 23rd and producers that are interested still have time to contact their local USDA service center and get in there and get that land enrolled."
He also noted a few changes: "Including an additional one-time, 10% inflationary adjustment, for the life of the contract, adjustment to the county rental rates, and using a soil productivity index range of 50% to 150% the county rental rate to help improve the bottom-line producers to incentivize their participation in the program."
While general CRP enrollment ends on July 23rd, CRP grasslands will remain open until August 20th.
Ducheneaux said, "CRP grasslands was developed to provide tools to livestock grazers. That sort of aligned with the initiatives of the CRP general program. We've raised the county minimum rental rate to $15 dollars per acre and that's going to change the program in over 1,300 counties across the country. We've also created some national grassland priority zones to increase enrollment of grasslands and migratory corridors and environmentally sensitive areas.
For more information, contact your nearest Farm Service Agency office, or click here.