If you've got land you would like to enroll in the Conservation Reserve Program and haven't yet filled out an official application and submitted it to your Farm Service Agency office, you've got until Friday, April 6 to get it done. What you're doing is offering your land that qualified into the program. Not all farms may be accepted into the program.
This program is administered through the Farm Service Agency. When it was announced a few weeks ago from Washington, D.C., some experts were surprised because they figured with rumored cutbacks in government funding for government programs, there would not be another general sign-up.
General sign-ups date back to the mid-1980s, when Senator Lugar and others established this program to preserve fragile lands. At the same time there was an abundance of corn putting pressure on market prices. Removing even the least productive land from production helps buoy the price of corn by holding down the size of the overall national corn crop. It was very effective for that purposes, especially before ethanol arrived and caused price increases.It's still unclear what will happen to general sign-ups once the new Farm Bill is approved, whether that be in 2012 or in the future. Some reports indicate soil conservation tends to be holding up well against those wielding the budget –cutting axe. But nothing will be final and clear until the actual Farm Bill for 2012 and the accompanying budget. Some rumors say the goal there will to gradually reduce the overall number of CRP0 acres in the US to about 25 million acres. If that's true, this might be your last good chance to enroll land in the long-term program. Most contracts run for either 10 or 15 years, with longer contract often specifying the use of tree plantings.