February Farm Service Agency Newsletter and Updates for South Carolina Farmers and Ranchers

February 2020

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Topics for February


South Carolina Farm Service Agency

1927 Thurmond Mall
Suite 100
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: 803.806.3820
 
www.fsa.usda.gov/sc
 
State Executive Director:
Boone Peeler
 
State Committee:
Anthony Grant, Chairperson
Robert Battle
Bill Sarratt
Landy Weathers
Beth White
 
Administrative Officer:
Kenn Jameson
 
Farm Programs Chief:
Amy Turner
 
Farm Loan Programs Chief:
William Shelley
 
Producers can contact their local FSA Office for more information or to schedule an appointment.
 
Important Dates and Deadlines:
 
March 15: NAP Application Closing Date for Hemp.

 

USDA Reminds Producers of Feb. 28 Deadline for Conservation Reserve Program General Signup

Make an appointment today for CRP 2020 general signup

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds agricultural producers interested in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) 2020 general signup that there is less than two weeks before the enrollment deadline of February 28, 2020. This signup is available to farmers and private landowners who are either enrolling for the first time or re-enrolling for another 10- to 15-year term.

Farmers and ranchers who enroll in CRP receive yearly rental payments for voluntarily establishing long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees (known as “covers”), which can control soil erosion, improve water quality and develop wildlife habitat on marginally productive agricultural lands.

CRP has 22 million acres enrolled, but the 2018 Farm Bill lifted the cap to 27 million acres.

Signed into law in 1985, CRP is one of the largest private-lands conservation programs in the U.S. It was originally intended to primarily control soil erosion and potentially stabilize commodity prices by taking marginal lands out of production. The program has evolved over the years, providing many conservation and economic benefits. Marking its 35th anniversary in 2020, CRP has had many successes, including:

  • Preventing more than 9 billion tons of soil from eroding, enough soil to fill 600 million dump trucks;
  • Reducing nitrogen and phosphorous runoff relative to annually tilled cropland by 95 and 85 percent respectively;
  • Sequestering an annual average of 49 million tons of greenhouse gases, equal to taking 9 million cars off the road;
  • Creating more than 3 million acres of restored wetlands while protecting more than 175,000 stream miles with riparian forest and grass buffers, enough to go around the world 7 times; and
  • Benefiting bees and other pollinators and increased populations of ducks, pheasants, turkey, bobwhite quail, prairie chickens, grasshopper sparrows and many other birds.