Continuous CRP options available to agricultural producers

LINCOLN — The Farm Service Agency has several Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CCRP) options available to Nebraska producers on a first-come, first-served basis.

Agricultural producers can apply for CCRP anytime throughout the year, but the availability of CRP acres is somewhat limited as the national acreage cap set by the 2012 Farm Bill draws nearer. Interested producers can visit their local USDA Service Center to determine what options exist for their farm. With recent declines in commodity prices, CRP is a great option for less productive acres or those that are difficult to farm.

A variety of CCRP options exist that will fit nearly every farming operation. They include:

— Highly Erodible Land Initiative – This practice converts sensitive cropland to grassland to improve water quality, reduce erosion and provide wildlife habitat.

— Pollinator Habitat and Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds – These two options can be applied on other areas of the farm, including pivot corners, small fields and field borders.

To be eligible for CRP, cropland must have been farmed four out of six years between 2008 and 2013.

Producers enrolled in CCRP receive annual rental payments based on soil types, as well as cost-share for approved grassland establishment and management practices. In addition, several of these CCRP practices offer additional Signup Incentive Payments and Practice Incentive Payments, making these options even more attractive.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Pheasants Forever, and other partners offer a variety of additional incentives that can make CRP an even more economically viable solution for producers, as well as valuable habitat for wildlife.

Prescribed Fire Conference is Dec. 2 in Kearney

Landowners and fire professionals are invited to attend the Prescribed Fire Conference on Dec. 2 in Kearney. The conference aims to bring landowners and fire professionals together to facilitate the discussion of challenges and successes associated with prescribed burning.

The agenda includes presentations from individuals with diverse backgrounds on prescribed burning, in-depth breakout sessions, exhibitors, and a meeting of the Nebraska Prescribed Fire Council (NPFC). The NPFC was formed by landowners to promote the common good of Nebraskans by educating, training, and practicing safe prescribed burn techniques.

The conference will be from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Conference Center, 110 Second Ave. Conference fees are: registration by Nov. 15, $25; registration after Nov. 15, $30; registration for volunteer fire professionals, $15.

For more information, visit NEFireCouncil.org/Conference.

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