CRP will pay for priority sites

CRP will pay for priority sites Soon the hum of harvest equipment will be hanging in the air. This harvest season should be a very interesting one with the ever-changing climate. Now is your chance to look at an exciting new option before harvest begins.

The Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) now provides the opportunity to receive financial assistance for controlling erosion, improving water quality, and enhancing wildlife habitat. We understand that the agricultural economy has been extremely unpredictable and difficult over the past few years and this program allows you to acquire an annual payment on areas newly devoted to filter strips, riparian buffers, grassed waterways, shelterbelts, field windbreaks, and wetland restorations on your farm. These areas are critical to reduce soil erosion levels, improve water quality and provide wildlife habitat, which we all know, is good stewardship of the land.

First year per acre payment can be as high as $264 for some priority cropland sites. Push your pencil hard! Installing conservation buffers on cropland through Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) sign-up may pay more than planting corn next year. The bottom line is that you as a producer, may net more per acre by installing buffers than by planting a crop. This is particularly the case if the land is marginal or drowns out periodically.

Have you found yourself searching for a solution on what to do with those small, wet, and nuisance spots in your field that are difficult to farm or farm around? Have you found yourself cleaning drainage ditches out more often or pushing more snow? Let us help you develop a system that works for your operation. A system that can only come from your knowledge of the land and designed to make your operation the best possible.

To be eligible for CRP, cropland must have been cropped two for the last five years or wetland areas must have been cropped three of the last 10 years and have adjoining buffers. Contracts are granted for a 10- to

15-year duration and are transferable if the land is sold. Additionally, you can receive 90 percent cost-share assistance to install these practices.

Farmers and ranchers play a vital part in maintaining the environmental quality for their family and all citizens. Filter strips, riparian buffers, grassed waterways, shelterbelts, field windbreaks and wetlands protect your land and visually demonstrate your commitment to conservation. Do not miss out on this opportunity to do your part to protect surface waters protect the soil resource and beautify the landscape that you and everyone can continue to be proud of.

Our office is ready to provide assistance if you are ready to make Clay County a better place for yourself, your family and your community. Please give the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) a call Monday through Friday at (605) 624-7060 extension 3 for more information on technical and financial assistance with establishing conservation practices on agricultural land.

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