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CRP meeting planned for Wednesday
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MONROE - The Green County Farm Service Agency office is sponsoring two informational meetings on evaluating the options available to landowners and operators under the 2014 Farm Bill Conservation Reserve Program.

The meetings will be held at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday in the lower level multi-purpose rooms of the Green County Justice Center, 2841 6th St., Monroe.

Participants in CRP establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees (known as "covers") to control soil erosion, improve water quality and develop wildlife habitat. In return, FSA provides participants with annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish those covers. At times when commodity prices are low, enrolling land in CRP can be especially attractive to farmers. Contract duration is between 10 and 15 years, depending on the cover enrolled. The long-term goal of the program is to re-establish native plant species on agricultural lands for the primary purpose of preventing soil erosion and improving water quality and related benefits of improving wildlife habitat.

December 2015 marked the 30th anniversary for the nation's most successful voluntary conservation program.

CRP, a federally-funded program, assists agricultural landowners and producers with the cost of restoring, enhancing and protecting certain land by establishing grasses, shrubs and trees to improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and reduce loss of wildlife habitat.

As of September 2015, 24.2 million acres were enrolled in CRP nationwide. CRP also is protecting more than 170,000 miles, enough to go around the world seven times, of streams through riparian forest and grass buffers.

CRP General Sign-up 49 started in early December and offers will continue being accepted for enrollment into the Conservation Reserve Program through Feb. 26. Under the CRP General Sign-up, all bids nationwide will be evaluated and the highest-ranking offers will be accepted. If accepted, the new contract will become effective Oct. 1.

Farm owners and operators are encouraged to call and make an appointment to look at all available CRP options. Landowners may enroll an entire field, install a grass waterway, place a small part of the farm in pollinator habitat, create a wildlife scrape, or choose from many more environmentally friendly practices. The eligibility requirements will be reviewed during the office visit.

This meeting is free and open to the public. No preregistration is required.

For more information about the CRP informational meetings, contact the Green County FSA office 608-325-4195.

Persons with disabilities who want to attend but require special accommodations should contact Teresa Zimmer, 608-325-4195 extension 2,

or Federal Relay Service at

1-877-387-2001 by Monday.