Linda Hennen, executive director for the USDA Minnesota Farm Service Agency, announced that 99,000 acres were accepted during the 43rd Conservation Reserve Program general signup.
Minnesota currently has 1.5 million acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program.
Nationwide, USDA accepted enrollment of 3.9 million acres bringing the total program enrollment to 29.6 million acres.
"For more than 25 years, CRP has protected natural resources in Minnesota while providing economic and environmental benefits to rural communities throughout the state," said Hennen. "The newly accepted CRP offers will continue the CRP legacy by improving water and air quality, increasing wildlife habitat and preventing soil erosion," she said.
Landowners enrolled in CRP receive annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term, resource conserving covers on eligible farmland. Accepted contracts will become effective October 1, 2012.
According to Hennen, during 2011 CRP acres reduced nitrogen losses from farm fields by 623 million pounds and phosphorus losses by 124 million pounds. CRP also has restored more than two million acres of wetlands and associated buffers and reduces soil erosion by more than 300 million tons per year nationwide.
All CRP signup 43 offers were evaluated and ranked using the Environmental Benefits Index that consists of the following five environmental factors plus cost: wildlife enhancement, water quality, soil erosion, enduring benefits and air quality. The national average rental rate per acre for this sign-up is $51.24.
For more information, please contact your local FSA office or visit http://www.fsa.usda.gov/crp.
Source: MN FSA