FSA to Host Public Meetings on Conservation Reserve Program

Bozeman, MT – The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) will be conducting a public meeting on the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) September 17, 2009 from 5-7 p.m. at the Hampton Inn in Great Falls.

Topics to be discussed at the meeting include provisions dealing with cropping history requirements, crop rotation practices, contract incentives, program enrollment terms and the CRP enrollment cap of 32 million acres established for the remainder of the 2008 Farm Bill.

“We are fortunate to be one of nine states to host a public comment meeting to receive feedback on how FSA can make the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) more effective for landowners and operators,” stated Bruce Nelson, FSA State Executive Director in Montana.

FSA will consider each comment received at the public meetings and during the comment period when preparing a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. This statement will help FSA at the national level and the public with an analysis of the environmental benefits and potential impacts associated with implementing various changes to CRP consistent with the 2008 Farm Bill.
Public comments are due by October 19, 2009, to be considered in the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. Comments may be submitted in the following ways: 1) online at: http://www.public.geo-marine.com; or Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov; 2) by e-mail to: CRPcomments@tecinc.com; 3) by mail or hand delivered to: CRP SEIS, c/o TEC Inc., 8 San Jose Dr., Suite 3-B, Newport News, VA 23606; or 4) by fax at 757/594-1469.

The additional meetings will be held in Washington, Minnesota, Kansas, Illinois, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

CRP is a voluntary program that supports the implementation of long-term conservation measures designed to improve the quality of ground and surface waters, control soil erosion, and enhance wildlife habitat on environmentally sensitive agricultural land. In return, contract holders are provided annual rental payments and cost-share assistance under contracts extending from 10-15 years.

For further information on the Conservation Reserve Program, visit your local USDA Service Center or logon to the Montana Farm Service Agency website at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/mt.

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