Signup for landowners who want to enroll in the Conservation Reserve Program starts March 14.
Linda Hennen, executive director of the Farm Service Agency for Minnesota, says farmers may offer eligible land for the competitive signup at their county FSA office. The signup periods ends April 15.
The CRP pays farmers to take environmentally sensitive land out of production. Hennen says it has led to cleaner water, improved air quality, better habitat for wildlife and a huge reduction in soil erosion.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture wants landowners to commit 4 million new acres of land to the program this year. About 31 million acres are currently enrolled, and 4.4 million acres could come out of the program because contracts are expiring.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)