By ROBERT S. MERRILL
A four-week general sign-up period for the Conservation Reserve Program will begin in Franklin County and across the country on May 20 and will end June 14.
In Franklin County 7,300 acres are available for the sign-up this year, according to Layne Peterson, executive director of the local Farm Service Agency.
“In Franklin County 31,000 acres are currently signed up for the CRP program and the maximum amount that can be enrolled is 36,000 acres, or 25 percent of total cropland. We have 2,300 acres that expire from the program this fall and they are also eligible for the sign-up,” said Peterson.
The director said in the past all 36,000 acres have been enrolled in CRP, but interest has waned a little bit recently.
“Up until about two years ago we always had all our 36,000 acres enrolled. But the past 24 months commodity prices, especially for hay, has increased. Good quality hay is bringing around $200 per ton. That price increase has created an incentive for a few farmers to withdraw acreage and plant ground again.
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