Sign up for the Conservation Reserve Program was scheduled to end February 12th, but the USDA has decided to extend that deadline. USDA said it will continue to accept offers as it takes the opportunity for the incoming Administration to evaluate ways to increase enrollment. Under the Trump Administration, incentives and rental payment rates were reduced, which resulted in a shortfall over more than four million acres.

The program is administered by the Farm Service Agency and provides annual rental payments for 10 to 15 years for land devoted to conservation purposes and other types of payments. Before the General CRP Signup Period ends, producers will get the opportunity to adjust or resubmit their offers to take advantage of planned improvements to the program. “The Conservation Reserve Program provides a tremendous opportunity to address climate change both by retiring marginal cropland and by restoring grasslands, wetlands, and forests,” said Robert Bonnie, Deputy Chief of Staff in the Office of the USDA Secretary.

Program successes include sequestering more than 12 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in soils and plants, which is about the same amount that the state of Delaware emits annually. Also, more than two billion tons of soil haven’t blown away due to wind erosion.

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