With Conservation Reserve Program contracts closing and some not being renewed, many landowners are left with questions about what could or should happen next.
Texas AgriLife Extension Service will host an "After the Conservation Reserve Program: Wildlife, Farming and Grazing" seminar on June 16 at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Lubbock, 1102 E. F.M. 1294, to answer some of those questions.
"The 2008 Farm Bill capped CRP nationwide at 32 million acres, which is about 20 percent less than the 39.2 million acre cap provided by the 2002 Farm Act," said Ken Cearley, AgriLife Extension wildlife specialist in Amarillo.
Contracts on almost 659,000 acres expire statewide in 2010, more than a quarter million acres in the South Plains, Cearley said. Some of these will not have the option to renew. The others face the decision to renew their contracts or not.
"This meeting is aimed at both those who are unable to renew and those contemplating taking their land out of the program at the end of their contract," he said. "Our aim is to give up-to-date information about the popular program as well as options to consider for land management after CRP."
The registration fee is $30 if paid by June 14 and $40 for those registering after that date or at the door, according to Robert Scott, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent in Lubbock. Lunch, refreshments and conference materials will be provided.
Registration can be made by calling the AgriLife Extension office in Lubbock at 806-775-1680 or by mail to: Texas AgriLife Extension Service-Lubbock County, Box 10536, Lubbock, Texas 79408. Checks should be made payable to the Lubbock Livestock Committee.
Program registration will begin at 7 a.m., followed by the program from 8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., Scott said. Three general continuing education units will be offered toward pesticide applicator re-certification.
The day will be divided into three sessions, with a CRP overview in the early morning, followed by land-management alternatives in the late morning, and landowner experiences and local agency perspectives in the afternoon.
Topics of discussion and speakers will be:
-- Conservation Reserve Program: Origin and Extent, Micky Woodard, U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency, Lubbock.
-- Production Options After the Conservation Reserve Program, Manuel De Leon, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Lubbock.
-- After CRP: What Does the Future Hold?, Chuck Kowaleski, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Lubbock.
-- Wildlife Management, Cearley.
-- Grazing Management, Dr. Ted McCollum, AgriLife Extension beef cattle specialist, Amarillo.
-- Farming Considerations, Randy Boman, AgriLife Extension agronomist, Lubbock.
-- Economic Considerations for Wildlife Management, Farming and Grazing - DeDe Jones, AgriLife Extension risk management specialist, Amarillo.
Partners in the program include Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, USDA-Farm Services Agency, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service with partial funding provided by the Renewable Resources Extension Act.