Producers have just under two weeks to apply under the general sign-up for the Conservation Reserve Program. The application deadline is Feb. 28.

Landowners who are enrolling for the first time or re-enrolling 10- to 15-year contracts may apply. According to USDA’s Farm Service Agency monthly enrollment summary, 13.2 million acres across 118, 295 farms are enrolled in general CRP with an average payment of $51.92 per acre. Total CRP enrollment, which includes the continuous sign-up, now stands at 21.9 million acres.

The 2018 farm bill increased the acreage cap to 27 million acres over the course of the five-year bill. The program was capped at 24 million acres in 2014, but the limit increased to 24.5 million acres for fiscal 2020 and then rises to 25 million in FY21. General CRP contracts control things like soil erosion, improve water quality, and wildlife habitat development on marginally productive farm ground.

Contracts accepted for the enrollment period will become effective Oct. 1 of this year. FSA plans to open enrollment soon for the Soil Health and Income Protection Program, a conservation pilot program.

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