WASHINGTON -- Yesterday U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the beginning of a sign-up period for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and implementation of the Transition Incentives Program (TIP):
“I applaud the administration’s efforts to protect vulnerable agricultural land for the benefit of future generations of farmers,” said National Farmers Union (NFU) Senior Vice President of Programs Chandler Goule. “Yesterday's announcement not only benefits the environment, but also encourages new and beginning farmers to get started in agriculture.'
Instead of holding a general CRP sign-up period in 2014, Secretary Vilsack announced USDA will accept continuous sign-ups beginning June 9. Under the continuous sign-up, producers with CRP contracts ending in 2014 will have the option to extend their contracts for an additional year.
In addition to the CRP announcement, USDA will encourage retiring farmers to transfer a portion of their CRP land to beginning, disadvantaged or veteran farmers through the Transition Incentives Program (TIP). Retiring farmers who transition their land would receive two additional years of CRP payments.
“CRP and TIP are hugely valuable programs that protect natural resources and encourage new and beginning farmers. It is a shame that the House Appropriations Committee made cuts to key conservation programs,” said Goule. “Appropriators should leave farm bill programs alone. I urge Congress to restore funding for these important initiatives as the appropriations process continues.”
National Farmers Union has been working since 1902 to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers, ranchers and rural communities through advocating grassroots-driven policy positions adopted by its membership.