Late spring and early summer heavy rainfall has caused widespread ponding and flooding in northwest and north-central Iowa. The recently announced continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) signup, offered through USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), provides farmers a well-timed opportunity to find long-term solutions for these problem areas in their fields.
“This statewide CRP continuous signup is targeting key water quality conservation practices, including wetland restoration, farmable wetlands, shallow water areas for wildlife, and saturated riparian buffers,” said Amanda DeJong, State Executive Director for Iowa FSA. “Along with water quality and wildlife benefits, these conservation practices can help improve a farmer’s net rate of return by reducing herbicide and fertilizer costs, reducing the need to replant and providing a consistent source of income through CRP rental payments.”
These CRP practices also provide farmers a wider planting window on the remaining areas of their fields.
“If the wettest areas are enrolled in CRP under the continuous signup, farmers can plant much sooner, boosting the chances for healthier crops and higher yields at harvest,” said DeJong.
Other water quality practices available in this Continuous CRP signup include: Grass waterways (non-easement), filter strips, denitrifying bioreactor and duck nesting habitat.
Continuous CRP Signup Details
Eligible landowners must submit CRP offers by Aug. 17, 2018.
DeJong added, “Developing a suitable CRP offer takes multiple steps so we suggest interested participants visit with their local office no later than Aug. 1 to begin the planning process.”
Under the CRP continuous signup, FSA provides eligible participants with annual rental payments and cost-share assistance. Signup and practice incentives, as well as certain rental rate incentives, are not available for this signup period. Continuous signup contracts are 10 to 15 years in duration.
Eligible land must be cropland – meaning the land must have been planted or considered planted to an agricultural commodity four out of six crop years from 2008 to 2013. Eligible land must be physically and legally capable of being planted to an agricultural commodity in a normal manner and applicants must have owned or operated the land for at least 12 months prior to submitting a CRP offer.
“Using CRP to target less profitable areas of your farm can help improve and simplify the overall management of your operation,” said DeJong.
Interested producers should visit their local FSA office. Find your local office by using the USDA Service Center Locator at http://offices.usda.gov.