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Conservation Reserve Program enrollment opens

Published: Jan. 9, 2021 at 7:38 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - If you’re a producer looking to enroll your land in the Conservation Reserve Program, now is the time. Mike Anderson explains in this week’s segment of North Dakota Outdoors.

The Conservation Reserve Program started more than 30 years ago, peaking at over 3 million acres in 2007, or roughly 2 million more than today.

The federally funded program encourages landowners to remove sensitive land from production and planting idle grasses and other vegetation that benefit wildlife, improve water quality, the list goes on.

“So the general sign-up is very competitive where producers are going to be offering land for enrollment and competing on a nationwide basis. It goes on an environmental benefit index scoring,” said North Dakota FSA Program Director, Wanda Braton.

Braton says there are several ways for producers to increase their score, but the wildlife benefit is the best way.

“The wildlife benefit, and that by producers electing to enhance their conservation cover or planting some of those more diverse conservation covers,” said Braton.

The North Dakota Game and Fish Department has always had an interest in CRP acres.

“From the perspective of the wildlife habitat that it provides out there and also as an option for producers,” said NDGF Private Lands Section Leader Kevin Kading

And CRP is also a good fit for the Department’s Private Lands Open to Sportsmen program.

“The habitat that’s provided or developed through CRP, fits really well into the hunting access program. It provides good habitat, a lot of different species, a lot of different areas in the state that have CRP, so it fits in to our program very well,” said Kading.

There are several ways to find out more information about the CRP general signup.

“With Covid-19, we don’t have any producers that are allowed within the office itself, but we can make appointments through phone, through email, through the mail itself. Otherwise, the producers can browse the web service and they can look at www.farmers.gov, or they can go to usda.gov,” said Braton.

You can also visit with a North Dakota Game and Fish Department private land biologist or go to gf.nd.gov. The voluntary signup is open through February 12.

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