The Ohio Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that general sign-up for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is now available and will continue through April 6. During the sign-up period, farmers and landowners may offer eligible land for CRP’s general sign-up at their local FSA office.
The CRP is Ohio’s most valuable conservation program, consisting of more than 300,000 acres. The CRP provides vital habitat for Ohio’s wildlife species, as well as providing the opportunity for wildlife observation and photography.
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Wildlife supports the CRP because it creates quality grassland and wetland wildlife habitat and reduces the amount of sediment entering Ohio’s waterways, thus providing improved water quality in Ohio’s streams and lakes.
“The Conservation Reserve Program is a win-win for all Ohioans,” said Scott Zody, chief of the Division of Wildlife. “I encourage all landowners to take the time to consider enrolling all or a portion of their land into this ecologically important program.”
Ohio’s FSA, which administers the CRP, will evaluate and rank eligible land using an Environmental Benefits Index (EBI), which shows the environmental benefits of enrolling land in the program. There are six factors that make up the EBI, which include: wildlife, water, soil, air, enduring benefits and cost.
Current CRP participants with contracts expiring on Sept. 30 are eligible for a new contract. This year’s awards will be effective Oct. 1. For more information about CRP sign-up, contact a local FSA office.
Landowners may also contact the Division of Wildlife’s private lands biologists at the Division of Wildlife district headquarters for additional information.