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CRP bumps acres cap, so signup will need to wait

Once some acres come out of program, more acres can be enrolled.

Continuous signup for the Conservation Reserve Program for 2017 has ended.

In a notice to state Farm Service Agency offices, Natural Resources Conservation Service state offices and county Farm Service Agency offices, Bradley Karmen, acting deputy administrator for farm programs, says county offices "shall not accept new offers for fiscal year 2017 after May 3, 2017, except for CREP."

County offices, however, could approve offers received on or before May 3 and those offers must be in "submitted" status by May 12.

Similarly, county offices are not allowed to approve any fiscal year 2018 offers received after May 3, except for CREP.

The CRP is capped at an enrollment of 24 million acres and enrollment stands at 23.5 million acres, so some acres must come out before more can be enrolled in the program.

In a blog post, the National Coalition for Sustainable Agricultural says that 2.5 million acres enrolled in the CRP will expire on Sept. 30, 2017, the end of fiscal year 2017.

"Many of those acres will likely be re-enrolled in new contracts, but some will also return to agricultural production and thus once again bring total CRP acreage total below the 24 million acre cap. It is imperative that USDA allow both CCRP offers that come in during the balance of this fiscal year, as well as new FY 2018 CCRP offers, to be enrolled through the continuous sign up in the new fiscal year. It is also imperative for USDA provide a mechanism in the coming weeks or months for CCRP re-enrollment offers for contracts that expire on Sept. 30 so that there will be no gaps for farmers intending to keep land in buffer strips or targeted wildlife practices beyond their existing contracts."

Source: National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

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