FSA offers conservation incentives

Interested landowners throughout Evangeline Parish are reminded that signup is ongoing for additional incentives that are available for both bottomland hardwood establishment and wetlands under the Conservation Reserve Program. Included are practice, signing, and soil rental rate incentives that are very attractive from an economical aspect, as well as environmental benefits and wildlife enhancement. The Continuous CRP is a voluntary enrollment program.

Robert Helmer, county executive director for the Evangeline Parish Farm Service Agency, said “FSA Service Centers accept offers for certain CRP practices on a continuous signup basis, and these offers are automatically accepted, provided the acreage and producer meet certain eligibility requirements.” Under CRP, farmers and ranchers enroll eligible land in 10 to 15-year contracts.

CRP participants receive annual rental payments – generally based on weighted average dry-land cash rent and practice maintenance – plus up to 50 percent cost-share to establish and manage conservation practices on the enrolled land. In addition, CRP participants restoring wetlands and establishing bottomland hardwood forests can now receive a Practice Incentive Payment (PIP) equal to 40 percent of the cost of installing the practice. A Signing Incentive Payment (SIP) of $100 per acre is made after the contract is approved. A Soil Rental Rate Incentive equal to 20 percent of the weighted average soil rental rate will be added to the annual rental payment. All of these incentives, collectively, add up to a very attractive economic package for producers interested in restoring wetlands and bottomland hardwood.

Helmer urges landowners who desire additional information on Continuous CRP and incentives that are available, to contact the Evangeline Parish FSA Office. Additional information may also be obtained by visiting the FSA website at www.fsa.usda.gov.

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