YOUR TEXAS AGRICULTURE MINUTE
Conservation Reserve Program remains popular in Texas
By Gary Joiner
A new sign-up period for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) just ended.
Data shows the program continues to have high value in Texas, with more than three million acres in the state enrolled. CRP enrollment is highest in the Texas Panhandle.
Under CRP, in exchange for annual rental payments, farmers and landowners voluntarily remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production to conserve soil, water and wildlife resources. The average rental rate per acre this year across the country was $82 per acre. In Texas, the average rental rate was less than $50 per acre.
About 22 million acres are enrolled in CRP nationally. Enrollment is the highest in Texas, Colorado, Kansas and Iowa.
In the next three years, more than 12 million acres of current CRP contracts are expected to expire. Farmers and landowners will have a decision. They can re-enroll environmentally sensitive cropland, enroll land designed to preserve or enhance wildlife habitat or potentially bring that land back into production agriculture.
CRP is an important and valuable tool. Texas farmers and ranchers who participate in CRP provide benefits to the nation’s environment by protecting natural resources.
The preceding commentary is brought to you by Texas Farm Bureau, the “Voice of Texas Agriculture.” Called “Your Texas Agriculture Minute,” TFB will issue thought-provoking editorials each week—via print and audio—to spark understanding of agriculture in the Lone Star State and its impact on each and every Texan.
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