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USDA to open sign-ups for Conservation Reserve Program in May


WASHINGTON D.C. (WTAQ) - The USDA says it will open a four-week sign-up period for the Conservation Reserve Program next May.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the program played a vital role in last summer’s drought, protecting sensitive land from erosion while emergency haying and grazing on those lands provided important feed and forage for livestock.

About 27 million acres are enrolled in the voluntary program which pays farmers to keep environmentally sensitive land out of production.

Contracts on more than 3 million acres are scheduled to expire at the end of September. The CRP goals are to improve water quality, control erosion and improve wildlife habitat.