Agricultural producers and private landowners seeking help enrolling or re-enrolling in the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) are reminded that Friday (February 28) is the last day to schedule an appointment with the Farm Service Agency Office.
The Cortland center, located at 1 North Main Street, serves residents of both Cortland and Tompkins Counties. It can also be reached by phone at (607) 753-0851.
Annual rental payments are awarded through the program in exchange for the voluntary establishment of certain long-term, resource-conserving plant species that can help control soil erosion, improve water quality and develop wildlife habitat.
CRP currently has about 22 million acres enrolled, but the 2018 Farm Bill raises the cap to 27 million acres by fiscal year 2023, with the cap for 2020 set at 24.5 million acres.
Signed into law in 1985, CRP was originally intended to control soil erosion by taking marginal lands out of production and is now one of the largest private-lands conservation programs in the U.S.