USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue says his agency accepted over 3.4 million acres into the general Conservation Reserve Program signup that recently wrapped up. 

It’s the first general signup for enrollments since 2016. County offices will begin to notify producers with accepted acres no later than April 3. 

“The Conservation Reserve Program is one of our nation’s largest conservation endeavors and is critical in helping producers better manage their operations while conserving valuable natural resources,” Perdue says. “The program celebrates its 35th anniversary this year and we’re quite pleased to see one of our largest signups in many years.” 

For the past 3.5 decades, the CRP has addressed multiple concerns while ensuring the most competitive offers are selected by protecting fragile and environmentally-sensitive lands, improving water quality, enhancing wildlife populations, providing pollinator forage habitat, sequestering carbon in soil and enhancing soil productivity. 

Seventy percent of the nation’s land is privately owned, and America’s farmers and ranchers have stepped up to protect the environment and natural resources through this program. 

Farmers and ranchers get an annual rental payment for establishing long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees, to help control soil erosion, improve water quality, and enhance wildlife habitat on cropland.