|CRP general sign-up info meeting offered in Holyoke|
|Written by Holyoke Enterprise|
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced a Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up. Pheasants Forever will be hosting a landowner information meeting at Phillips County Event Center Monday, March 7 at 7 p.m. to help answer questions about how to improve enrollment chances, farming efficiency and wildlife values.
Another meeting will be held Tuesday, March 8 at the Haxtun Community Center at 7 p.m.
The new general CRP sign-up will run from March 14-April 15. Pheasants Forever Farm Bill biologists and personnel from the FSA, Colorado Division of Wildlife and Natural Resources Conservation Service will be on hand to provide a brief presentation and then answer questions.
“The ranking process for enrollment offers has changed since the general sign-up in August 2010 and will be explained by FSA. With high commodity prices, the temptation to return CRP lands to production is high, so options for offering environmentally sensitive areas and difficult to farm areas into the CRP program will be discussed,” according to Jerry Miller, Farm Bill biologist.
“We are providing this service to help out those who are interested. Obviously though, more and better CRP means more pheasants and other wildlife too, which is why we work so hard for this program and for producers.”
As in past CRP general sign-ups, USDA will score offers using the Environmental Benefits Index (EBI). This formula-driven system evaluates each tract of land according to its environmental values and challenges and how the landowner chooses to offer it into the program. According to Miller, there are only a few things that a landowner can offer to do that will increase the EBI score.
“This landowner informational meeting is designed to specifically address what the landowner can change in their offer. Some of those ‘adjustable’ factors are very important for wildlife,” said Miller.
Those interested in participating should plan to arrive at 7 p.m. There is no charge for participating and there is no need to register. Space may be limited.