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USDA extends sign up deadline for new conservation plot program

Staff Writer
LA Junta Tribune

Contributed by U.S. Department of Agriculture

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is extending the deadline to Nov. 20 for the Soil Health and Income Protection Program (SHIPP), a new pilot program that enables farmers to receive payments for planting perennial cover for conservation use for three to five years.

Signup opened March 30 for the pilot program, which is part of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and available to producers in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Through SHIPP, producers have the option of three, four, or five-year CRP contracts to establish perennial cover on less productive cropland in exchange for payments.

This pilot enables producers to plant perennial cover that, among other benefits, will improve soil health and water quality while having the option to harvest, hay, and graze during certain times of the year. Up to 50,000 acres can be enrolled.

The SHIPP pilot is the latest option in a full suite of opportunities available to producers through CRP and other conservation programs offered by USDA.

Farmers and ranchers are encouraged to talk to their FSA county office soon about whether this pilot fits their operation or consider another longer-term option such as the CRP General signup or CRP Continuous signup that is ongoing.