WESTMINSTER — Provisions for the 11th Conservation Reserve Program sign-up, which runs until July 19, have been announced by Elizabeth A. Schaeffer, county Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service director.
Schaeffer reminded producers that the sign-up will be their only opportunity to offer bids that will be applicable to the 1992 crop year and that the number of acres accepted based upon these bids will be limited to approximately 1.1 million.
Acreage offered for enrollment must be land-planted or consideredplanted to produce an agricultural commodity in two of the five cropyears from 1986 through 1990.
The cropping-history requirement may be considered met, under certain circumstances, with cropland planted to alfalfa and other multiyear grasses and legumes grown in rotation and also in connection with acreage designated either as Acreage Conservation Reserve or Conservation Use for Pay during those five years.
Many provisions which that to the 10th CRP sign-up held this spring are applicable to the July sign-up, Schaeffer said.
"Under the CRP, the estimated environmental benefits obtained per dollar of cost to the Commodity Credit Corp. are evaluated when bids are considered," Schaeffer said. "Therefore, producers should not rely on bid amounts which have been accepted in previous sign-ups, since each producer's bid is compared to the productivity capability of the acres offered.
"Producers who wish to enroll acreage in the CRP should be aware that there is increased competition."
The provisions of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990 have expanded land eligibility requirements from past years to include not only highly erodible land but also other cropland acreage that reduces the impairment of water quality or improves public wellhead protection.
Special consideration will be given to designated hydrologic unit areas, which are determined to be a source of water quality problems, and designated conservation priority areas.
In addition to increasing water quality benefits under CRP, practices requiring useful-life easements of 15 or 30 years, such as filter strips, sod waterways, shelterbelts and contour grass strips, also are given special consideration to the bid evaluation process.
"The 1990 act establishes a Wetland Reserve Program under which wetlands may be enrolled in the program," she said. "Details of this program will be announced if appropriations to carry out the program become available.
"Because wetlandswill be eligible for inclusion in the WRP, certain wetlands will notbe eligible for enrollment into the CRP
during the 11th sign-up."
CRP bids submitted in connection with the July sign-up will be accepted only for 1992 contracts. Bid acceptance determinations will bemade after nationwide review and evaluation. A bid is not binding oneither the producer or CCC until the contract is signed by both parties.
Fifty percent cost-share assistance will continue to be available to establish approved permanent vegetative cover, including trees, on the accepted acreage. Annual rental payments for 10 to 15 years, depending upon the cover established, will be paid to CRP participants based upon accepted bid amounts.
Approximately 34.5 million acres of eligible land have been accepted into the CRP through the 10thsign-up.
Further details are available to producers at the Carroll County Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Office, 1004 Littlestown Pike.