Land Conservation Program Accepting Applications

LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the first time in four years, the US Department of Agriculture will hold a general sign-up for its Conservation Reserve Program. CRP is a rental payment and land conservation program.

In Kentucky alone last year, the federal government paid farmers 46 million dollars in rental payments, cost-share payments, and environmental practice incentives. In exchange, farmers agree not to farm their land for 10 to 15 years.

"You get water quality as well as air quality benefits through these practices, and it's another way that Congress is trying to encourage producers to not farm land that's going to hurt the environment or hurt the land itself," says Bob Finch, Farm Programs Chief for the USDA Farm Service Agency in Kentucky.

Finch says critics often lump the CRP with other farm subsidy programs. But Finch adds that the federal program buys important conservation benefits, such as prevention of soil erosion, and restoration of wildlife habitats.

The Conservation Reserve sign-up is open through August 27. For more information, contact your local Farm Service Agency office.

Lexington FSA Service Center Contact: David Duke 141 Leestown Center Way, Ste. 200 Lexington KY 40511 Business Phone: 859-233-0194 Business Fax: 859-233-3583 E-mail: Counties Serviced: Fayette, Jessamine and Scott

Versailles FSA Service Center Contact: Rita Jones 182 Beasley Rd Versailles KY 40383-9558 Business Phone: 859-873-3411 Business Fax: 859-873-9504 E-mail: Counties Serviced: Anderson, Franklin & Woodford