DES MOINES John R. Whitaker, State Executive Director for USDA's Iowa Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that new soil rental rates are being used for the Farm Service Agency's Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Maximum CRP rental rates are calculated using the three predominant soil types that make up the offered area. A weighted average of the individual rates associated with each soil type determines the overall rental payment per acre. Most soil rates have increased throughout the state.
"These new higher rates have been increased to continue to make CRP competitive with higher cash rent prices," said Whitaker. "Producers who have inquired about CRP have been surprised at our new rates, which in most cases are significantly higher when compared to the rates used for contacts expiring this fall."
These new rates are in affect for the 45th general CRP sign-up, which began on May 20 and continued through June 14, as well as for the continuous CRP that continues through September 30, 2013. CRP is a voluntary program that assists farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers to use their environmentally sensitive land for conservation benefits. CRP helps protect groundwater by reducing water runoff, sedimentation, and is a major contributor to increases in wildlife. Producers enrolling in CRP plant long-term resource-conserving cover in exchange for the rental payments, cost-share and technical assistance.
Whitaker added, that producers with expiring contracts or producers with environmentally sensitive land are encouraged to evaluate their options under CRP especially given these new increased rates.
On Sept. 30, 2013, contracts on an estimated 3.3 million acres of CRP nationwide are set to expire; 183,399 acres will expire in Iowa.
Currently, about 27 million acres are enrolled in CRP nationwide, 1.5 million acres in Iowa. CRP is a voluntary program available to agricultural producers to help them safeguard environmentally sensitive land. Producers enrolled in CRP plant long-term, resource-conserving covers to improve the quality of water, control soil erosion and enhance wildlife habitat.
For information on the Conservation Reserve Program www.fsa.usda.gov/ia.