Larry Eubank, county executive director for the Ellis County USDA Farm Service Agency, has announced a Conservation Reserve Program sign up from March 14-April 15. This is the second consecutive year USDA has offered a general CRP signup.

“Financial incentives available through CRP afford farmers and ranchers a low risk opportunity to implement a variety of conservation practices that will benefit the environment in a number of ways,” Eubank said. “Over the past 25 years, CRP practices have improved water and air quality, increased wildlife habitat and prevented soil erosion.”

Landowners enrolled in the CRP program receive annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term, resource-conserving covers on eligible farmland. Land that is not enrolled in CRP can be offered during signup if all eligibility requirements are met. CRP participants with contracts expiring this fall can make new contract offers during the signup period. Contracts awarded during this general signup will become effective Oct. 1.

All CRP offers are evaluated and ranked using an Environmental Benefits Index that indicates the environmental benefits of enrolling land in CRP. There are five environmental factors that make up the EBI: wildlife, water, soil air, enduring benefits and cost. Decisions will be made following the end of the signup period and after analyzing EBI data on all of the offers.

In addition to the general signup, the continuous CRP signup program will be ongoing.

For more information, contact the Ellis County FSA Office at 972-937-2660, ext. 2, or visit http://www.fsa.usda.gov/crp.