The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Farm Service Agency are encouraging landowners to not delay in signing up again for the Conservation Reserve Program. The program pays landowners to keep land out of crop production. Kelly Smith, coordinator of the DNR’s private lands program, says many contracts will expire at the end of September.
Smith says they are contracts called "continuous," generally small acres, filter strips, farmable wetlands that have been restored. They are not contracts for whole fields. Smith says the DNR encourages landowners to keep these areas in the program because of their environmental significance. She says they are generally some of the most sensitive lands in the state, land along streams that filter sediment and nutrients before they reach waterways, or wet areas that’re difficult to farm. Smith says you can contact your local FSA office to sign up again.
Smith says they’d like to get everyone in early in August so all the paperwork can get done and landowners don’t miss any payments. The rise in corn prices has some landowners taking large fields out of C-R-P, but Smith says people in this category are better off in C-R-P.
Smith says these aren’t whole fields and still areas that can be difficult to farm, and this is a good solution for the small areas. Smith says there are approximately 18-thousand-500 of the continuos acres eligible for re-enrollment. For more information visit your local U-S-D-A Service Center or go on-line to: www.fsa.usda.gov .