Thursday, July 17, 2014

Save Soil, Clean Water, and Create Wildlife Habitat through CRP

The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is an important tool for cleaning water, reducing soil erosion and increasing wildlife habitat nationally and in Ohio.
Ohio lost almost 90 square miles of CRP acres after the previous Farm Bill expired in 2012. The passage of the 2014 Farm Bill opened continuous CRP enrollment on June 9. Ohioans now have the chance to enroll essential habitat in CRP.
• CRP is administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency and provides incentives to farmers who plant natural vegetation to reduce soil erosion, prevent nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen from entering streams and lakes, and increase wildlife habitat.
• Land enrolled in CRP provides essential habitat for popular wildlife species like northern bobwhite quail, ring-necked pheasants, waterfowl and wild turkeys.
• The CRP program began in 1985. Ohio CRP enrollment includes the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), the State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE), the Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds (CP-33), the Pollinator Habitat (CP-42) and other practices. Landowners who are interested in learning more can contact an ODNR Division of Wildlife private lands biologist or a local Farm Services Agency office.
• CRP has periodic general enrollment and continuous enrollment plans. The continuous CRP enrollment opened June 9.
• More than 12,000 acres of CRP in Ohio are set to expire in 2014. Counties in western and central Ohio will see the largest decline in CRP if the expiring acres are not re-enrolled. Ross County has the largest amount of acres expiring with 672. Highland (667), Champaign (657), Pickaway (544) and Huron (498) counties could also see big declines in 2014.

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