Matthew Peplinski, County Executive Director of Marathon County Farm Service Agency, announced the general signup for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) will be held from March 12, 2012 through April 6, 2012. Farmers and ranchers may offer eligible land at the Marathon County Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.
“Over the past 25 years, CRP’s benefits have grown thanks to many unexpected, but welcomed improvements to our natural resources — cleaner water, improved air quality, better habitat for wildlife, viewing opportunities of that wildlife and of course, a huge reduction in soil erosion," said Peplinski.
Land currently not enrolled in CRP may be offered in this signup provided all eligibility requirements are met. Additionally, current CRP participants with contracts expiring on September 30, 2012, may make new contract offers. Contracts awarded under general signup 43 are scheduled to become effective October 1, 2012.
FSA, which administers the CRP, will evaluate and rank eligible CRP offers using an Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) that shows the environmental benefits to be gained from enrolling the land in CRP. The EBI consists of five environmental factors (wildlife, water, soil, air and enduring benefits) and cost. Decisions on the EBI cutoff will be made after the sign-up ends and after analyzing the EBI data of all the offers.
In addition to the general sign-up, CRP's continuous sign-up program will be ongoing. Continuous acres represent the most environmentally desirable and sensitive land. For more information, visit http://www.fsa.usda.gov/crp or contact the Marathon County Farm Service Agency at 715-848-2330.