The Agriculture Department will start accepting applications for the Conservation Reserve Program general signup on Feb. 27 with hopes of reaching the 27-million-acre cap set for this year.

More than 23 million acres are currently enrolled in the program, though 1.9 million are set to expire this year. Enrollment will be open until April 7.

The goal of the program, according to a USDA release, is to help producers establish USDA-approved grasses or trees for long periods on their land. Contracts last for between 10 and 15 years.

The CRP "is one of the largest private lands conservation programs in the United States, offering a range of conservation options to farmers, ranchers and landowners,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in the release. “CRP has and continues to be a great fit for farmers with less productive or marginal cropland, helping them re-establish valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and support wildlife habitat."

Producers can contact their local USDA Service Center to apply for the program. 

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The signup date for the Grassland CRP program, a similar program targeting grasslands that allows producers to continue to graze livestock, will be announced  has not been announced in "coming weeks," the Farm Service Agency said.

"Producers and landowners enrolled more than 5 million acres into CRP through signups in 2022, building on the acceptance of more than 3.1 million acres in the largest Grassland CRP signup in history," USDA said.

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