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Agribusiness

Sept. 2 - Farm Bill Allows Early Termination for Certain Conservation Reserve Contracts

Category: Agribusiness

 Brunswick Business Journal Staff Report

September 2, 2014 - USDA Georgia Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Fred Harrison, Jr. announces as of August 6, 2014, producers who are enrolled in certain practices through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) can apply for early contract termination, as required by the 2014 Farm Bill.  The deadline to request early CRP Contract termination is January 30, 2015.

The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a cost-share and rental payment program under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and is administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA).

The natural resources conservation programs help people reduce soil erosion, enhance water supplies with groundwater recharge, improve water quality, increase wildlife habitat, and reduce damages caused by floods and other natural disasters.

The CRP encourages farmers to convert highly erodible cropland or other environmentally sensitive acreage to vegetative cover, such as cultivated or native bunchgrasses and grasslands, wildlife and pollinators food and shelter plantings, windbreak and shade trees, filter and buffer strips, grassed waterways, and riparian buffers.

The effective date for early termination is no earlier than October 1, 2014.  The CRP contract must been in effect for at least five years and other conditions must be met.  The 2014 Farm Bill identifies 10 exceptions whereby land will not be eligible for the early-out provisions.  For a complete list of these exceptions, please view the program fact sheet online at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/Internet/FSA_File/crp_opt_out_fact_sht.pdf

“Once a CRP contract termination request is approved by the FSA County Committee, the decision cannot be reversed and the contract cannot be reinstated,” said Harrison. “Likewise, producers must meet conservation compliance provisions for all land that will be returned to production.”

For more information on or to determine eligibility for early termination of existing CRP contracts, please contact your local FSA office.  For local FSA Service Center contact information, please visit: http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app.

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