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.