Conservation Reserve Program Signup to Begin

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By Rachel Begle

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says farmers can sign up for the Conservation Reserve Program beginning Monday.

Farm Service Agency offices across Iowa are beginning the four-week general CRP sign-up, which continues through June 14.

The program allows farmers to set aside land likely to erode and receive a government payment for not farming it.

The USDA says benefits also include improved water quality and enhanced wildlife habitat.

FSA State Executive Director John Whitaker says the benefits of CRP were highlighted after Iowa recently experienced the worst flooding and drought seen in 60 years. He says CRP protected environmentally sensitive land from washing or blowing away.

He says updated rental rates may make CRP a more attractive alternative on land where costs are high and yields are low.

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