Dec. 16, 2016 – U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Adrian Polansky today announced that up to 212,300 acres can now be enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in Kansas to protect bird habitat. This acreage can be offered into the existing SAFE programs for the Lesser Prairie Chicken and Upland Game Birds, or the newly-established SAFE program for Migratory Birds, Butterflies and Pollinators in Kansas and Nebraska.
“Over the past 30 years, CRP has helped farmers to offset the costs of restoring, enhancing and protecting certain grasses, shrubs and trees that improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and strengthen wildlife habitat,” said Polansky. “Given the national cap of 24 million acres, it is more important than ever to pursue multiple benefits on each acre of CRP such that many acres are providing erosion prevention, water conservation, recreation for sportsman, habitat for pollinators, and protection of grazing land.”
Nationwide, farmers and ranchers now can enroll up to 1.1 million acres to restore high-priority wildlife habitat through the CRP State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) program, wetlands restoration, or pollinator habitat improvements. In Kansas specifically, a new increased total of 212,300 acres are available for enhancing and improving bird habitat. This includes 10,000 acres for the new Migratory Bird program, as well as 72,900 acres for Upland Game Birds and 129,400 acres for the Lesser Prairie Chicken. Details about the Migratory Bird program will be coming out soon.
Throughout the Obama Administration, USDA has generated thousands of critical partnerships to conserve and protect our natural resources on working landscapes, while enrolling a record number of acres in conservation programs. Seventy-percent of the nation’s land is owned and tended to privately, and America’s farmers, ranchers and landowners have willingly stepped up to address the growing impacts of a changing climate. With USDA’s support, they work to implement voluntary practices that improve air and water quality, prevent soil erosion and create and protect wildlife habitat.
Since 2009, USDA has invested more than $29 billion to help producers make conservation improvements, working with as many as 500,000 farmers, ranchers and landowners to protect land and water on over 400 million acres nationwide.
To learn more about FSA’s conservation programs, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/conservation or contact a local FSA county office. To find your local FSA county office, visit http://offices.usda.gov/.