Over 22 million of the current 34 million acres of the USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts will expire in 2007 and 2008. With that rapidly approaching reality in mind, the USDA Farm Service Agency and the U.S. Geological Survey's Fort Collins Science Center sponsored a national conference June 6-8 in Fort Collins, Colorado, on the future of the Conservation Reserve Program. More than 220 participants attended, including producers, Congressional staff, industry representatives, environmental advocates, academics, members of the media, and State and Federal representatives of conservation and resource agencies. The meeting provided a forum to review completed scientific analysis, introduce ongoing and planned research, exchange views and objectives, explore lessons learned, and define needs to enhance program performance. The conference, “CRP: Planting for the Future,” supported the Government Performance and Reporting Act as well as the President’s Management Agenda requiring programs and policies to be based on sound science with quantifiable accomplishments. Major themes included the need to quantify and communicate CRP’s environmental and economic effects, appropriate management of CRP land, CRP’s impact on rural economies, and development of state and federal partnerships to improve USDA’s ability to meet regional and National agricultural and environmental needs.
For more information contact: Arthur Allen
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