USDA Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting Executive Director James B. Douglass announced that continuous sign-up for the Highly Erodible Land Initiative under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) started on July 23, 2012. Texas received a total allocation of 50,000 acres. Offers will be accepted until either thestate acreage allocation limit is reached or September 30, 2012, whichever occurs first.

“CRP is a voluntary program that has protected environmentally sensitive land for more than 25 years,” said Douglass. “This initiative will accept offers with an erosion rate of at least 20 tons per acre per year for new cropland or CRP acres that expire on September 30, 2012; however, existing grass stands that are not considered expiring CRP will not be considered eligible," he said.

Producers can stop by their local FSA office to determine if their land qualifies for the Highly Erodible Land Initiative and to receive additional location-specific details.

Landowners enrolled in CRP receive annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term, resource-conserving covers on eligible farmland. Incentive payments are not authorized under this initiative.

New land contracts approved during this continuous sign-up initiative will become effective the first day of the month following the month of approval and are valid for 10 years.

CRP contracts set to expire on September 30, 2012, may be offered for consideration and approved contracts will become effective October 1, 2012, and are also valid for 10 years.

For more information, please contact your local FSA office or visit http://www.fsa.usda.gov/crp.