COLUMBUS - A general Conservation Reserve Program signup is taking place through the Farm Service Agency until April 6. During the sign-up period, farmers and landowners may offer eligible land at the local FSA office.
"CRP is Ohio's most valuable conservation program, consisting of more than 300,000 acres," according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife. "The CRP provides vital habitat for Ohio's wildlife species, as well as providing the opportunity for wildlife observation and photography. It creates quality grassland and wetland wildlife habitat and reduces the amount of sediment entering Ohio's waterways, thus providing improved water quality in Ohio's streams and lakes."
FSA will evaluate and rank eligible land using an Environmental Benefits Index, which shows the environmental benefits of enrolling land in the program. There are six factors that make up the EBI, which include: wildlife, water, soil, air, enduring benefits and cost.
Current CRP participants with contracts expiring Sept. 30 are eligible for a new contract. This year's awards will be effective Oct. 1.
For more information, contact the local FSA office at (419) 448-7071 or visit www.fsa.usda.gov/crp.