Today marks the end of the extended time approved for farmers to sign up for the Conservation Reserve Program, but things probably won’t be too hectic at local Farm Service Agency offices. Mike Musel at the state Farm Service Agency’s office says federal officials extended the deadline, even though it didn’t seem to be a problem here. He says many people in the county offices said they could be done by the original date, but Musel says the national office probably extended the deadline to accommodate other states. The program pays farmers to take crop land out of production if they institute conservation measures. He says either owners of land or operators who farm the land are eligible for the payments. Musel says requests for C-R-P contracts from across the nation compete against each other, and are scored using a complex system. He says they use an environmental benefits index that includes five factors, wildlife, water, longtime enduring benefits, erosion and cost. Musel says if you haven’t signed up yet, you need to do so at your local F-S-A office today to be considered for the program.
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