CRP signup Wednesday at Days Inn

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Days Inn Hotel –The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced a Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) general sign-up. Quail Forever will be hosting a Landowner Informational meeting at the Days Inn Hotel on Wednesday, Aug. 11,at 5 p.m. to help answer questions about how to improve enrollment chances and wildlife values.

The new general CRP signup (August 2-27) will be the first since 2006, and landowner demand is expected to be strong, especially considering the USDA has updated soil rental rates since that last general signup. Quail Forever Farm Bill Biologist Wade Bloemer along with USDA officials will be on hand to provide a brief presentation and then answer questions. "The process for enrollment is pretty complex and the competition to get in is going to be steep," according to Bloemer. We are providing this service to help out those who are interested. More CRP and high quality means more quail and other wildlife too, which is why we work so hard for this program and for producers."

As in past CRP General Sign-ups, USDA will score offers using the Environmental Benefits Index (EBI). This formula driven system evaluates each tract of land according to its environmental values and challenges and how the landowner chooses to offer it into the program. According to Bloemer, there are only a few things that a landowner can offer to do that will increase the EBI score. "This landowner informational meeting is designed to specifically address what the landowner canchange in their offer. Some of those "adjustable" factors are very important for wildlife, said Bloemer.

Those interested in participating should plan to arrive at the Days Inn at 5:00 p.m. There is no charge for participating and there is no need to register.

If you are unable to attend but have questions regarding the CRP sign-up, schedule and appointment with your local Farm Service Agency office and/or feel free to call Wade Bloemer at (217) 853-9970 or email him at wbloemer@pheasantsforever.org.