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Trudy Kareus, executive director for the USDA Colorado Farm Service Agency (FSA), announced that currently there are 2,181,540 acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and during the latest general signup 43 Colorado had 483,197 acres accepted which will be effective on October 1.
Nationwide, USDA accepted enrollment of 3.9 million acres bringing the total program enrollment to 29.6 million acres.
“For more than 25 years, CRP has protected natural resources in Colorado while providing economic and environmental benefits to rural communities throughout the state,” said Kareus. “The newly accepted CRP offers will continue the CRP legacy by improving water and air quality, increasing wildlife habitat and preventing soil erosion,” she said.
Landowners enrolled in CRP receive annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term, resource conserving covers on eligible farmland. Accepted contracts will become effective October 1, 2012.
According to Kareus, during 2011, CRP acres reduced nitrogen losses from farm fields by 623 million pounds and phosphorus losses by 124 million pounds. CRP has also restored more than two million acres of wetlands and associated buffers and reduces soil erosion by more than 300 million tons per year nationwide.
All CRP signup 43 offers were evaluated and ranked using the Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) that consists of the following five environmental factors plus cost: wildlife enhancement, water quality, soil erosion, enduring benefits and air quality. The national average rental rate per acre for this sign-up is $51.24.
For more information about the Conservation Reserve Program, please contact your local FSA office or visit http://www.fsa.usda.gov/crp.