Farm Service Agency Now Accepting Applications

The Chautauqua County Farm Service Agency is currently conducting a signup for the general enrollment for the Conservation Reserve Program through June 14. The signup for the continuous Conservation Reserve Enhancement Progra is now through Sept. 30.

Offers for general signup CRP contracts are ranked according to an Environmental Benefits Index. USDA’s Farm Service Agency collects data for each of the EBI factors based on the relative environmental benefits for the land offered. FSA uses the following factors to assess the environmental benefits for the land offered:

Wildlife habitat benefits resulting from covers on contract acreage; Wildlife habitat benefits resulting from covers on contract acreage;

Water quality benefits from reduced erosion, runoff and leaching;

On-farm benefits from reduced erosion;

Benefits that will likely endure beyond the contract period;

Air quality benefits from reduced wind erosion; and

Cost.

CRP soil rental rates for non-irrigated cropland were updated this year to better reflect location and market conditions. A nationwide cap was placed on the maximum amount that may be paid per acre for the general signup. Taken together these steps help ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent in a fiscally responsible manner while producing the maximum environmental benefits for each dollar spent.

CRP is the largest USDA conservation program and continues to make major contributions to national efforts to improve water and air quality, prevent soil erosion, and protect the most sensitive areas including those prone to flash flooding and runoff. At the same time, CRP has helped increase populations of pheasants, quail and ducks and is recognized as benefiting certain rare species like the sage grouse, the lesser prairie chicken and other grassland birds.

For more information on CRP and other FSA programs, visit a Chautauqua County FSA Office, located at 3542 Turner Road, Jamestown or view program information on the national website at www.fsa.usda.gov.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call 866-632-9992, 800-877-8339 or 866-377-8642.