CRP general enrollment ends Aug. 27 |

CRP general enrollment ends Aug. 27

BROOKINGS, SD – Tired of fighting wet field conditions during planting and harvest each year, Jim Madsen enrolled his family’s century farm in a continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in 2008.

“Our farm is very low, flat and sits right on top of the Big Sioux Aquifer. There were many years when it was just too wet to plant,” said the White, SD, farmer/landowner.

Madsen says the Aug. 2-27 CRP general sign-up is a promising opportunity South Dakota landowners should not overlook.

“This general enrollment has been a long time coming. It’s been four years since the last one, and who knows when this will happen again,” said Madsen, 62, also the national president of the Izaak Walton League, one of the nation’s oldest conservation organizations.

After several seasons of flooding, many South Dakota farmers can relate to Madsen, explained Jason Tronbak, conservation specialist for Millborn Seeds.

“Many farmers are running into a situation where they are unable to obtain crop insurance due to too many years of flooding. CRP is an option to take their unprofitable acres out of production,” said Tronbak, who helps landowners develop conservation plans for their land.

He says this general sign-up provides South Dakota landowners with a unique opportunity to enroll marginal farm ground and larger parcels of land that do not qualify for continuous CRP. When landowners work with Tronbak and Millborn Seeds, the grass seed company offers a Stand Establishment Guarantee.

“We provide landowners with the resources, knowledge and service they need to achieve stand success,” Tronbak said.

A few requirements and benefits have changed since the 2006 general sign-up says Rocco Murano, private lands habitat biologist for the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks (SDGFP). Two big changes include cropping history dates – now 2002-2007 – and rental rates increasing by 10 to 20 percent in most South Dakota counties.

“This is another tool available to landowners who have areas that didn’t qualify for continuous CRP or didn’t have the cropping history four years ago,” said Murano, who is excited about what this general enrollment means for South Dakota’s wildlife habitat and pheasant populations.

Nationally, USDA will accept approximately 4 million acres during the August general enrollment. Land will be ranked based on its environmental benefit score (EBI). Many expect the competition for acres to be intense, said Daryl Campbell, conservation chief for the South Dakota Farm Service Agency.

“Every general sign up has been real competitive, I don’t expect this one to be any different,” Campbell said.

He added that FSA, the SDGF&P and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff is standing by to aid landowners during the application process. Contact your local NRCS, GF&P or FSA office to learn more about the general CRP sign up. Contact Jason Tronbak at Millborn Seeds to learn how to increase your land’s EBI score and receive Millborn Seeds’ Stand Establishment Guarantee, 888-498-7333.

editor’s note: this is the first of four press releases designed to inform landowners and the general public about the 2010 crp general enrollment. check out next week’s installment on how to increase your land’s ebi score.

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