Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the 25th anniversary of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in Washington last week. "Although it was designed to address soil erosion, CRP has become one of the standouts in the USDA arsenal of conservation programs by continuing to provide signficant economic and environmental benefits beyond its original intent," Vilsack said in a statement.
Today, CRP stands at 31.3 million acres enrolled in nearly 738,000 contracts. Of these, 6,006 acres (less than .2 percent) are located in Monterey County, according to the county Farm Service Agency office.
Landowners enrolled in the voluntary program administered by the FSA received annual rental payments. Since its inception 25 years ago, CRP has restored more than 2 million acres of wetlands and reduced soil erosion by 622 million tons, according to the USDA.