Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reminds farmers and ranchers that enrollment for CRP runs now through February 26, 2016. This month also marks the 30th anniversary for the federally funded program which provides funds for landowners to prevent soil erosion, protect wildlife, and restore habitat.
As of September 2015, 24.2 million acres were enrolled in CRP. CRP also is protecting more than 170,000 stream miles with riparian forest and grass buffers, enough to go around the world 7 times. For an interactive tour of CRP success stories from across the U.S., visit www.fsa.usda.gov/CRPis30, or follow on Twitter at #CRPis30.
“Over the past 30 years, farmers, ranchers, conservationists, hunters, fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts have made CRP one of the most successful conservation programs in the history of the country,” said Vilsack. “Today, CRP continues to make major environmental improvements to water and air quality. This is another longstanding example of how agricultural production can work hand in hand with efforts to improve the environment and increase wildlife habitat.”
In the past 30 years CRP has prevented the erosion of more than 9 billion tons of soil, reduced nitrogen and phosphorous runoff by 95 and 85 percent respectively, reduced greenhouse gases equivalent to taking 9 million cars off the road, and resorted 2.7 million acres of wetlands.
1.64 million acres of CRP contracts will expire on September 30, 2016. The USDA encourages landowners to evaluate their options under CRP.