Aside from improving water quality and enhancing wildlife habitats, one of the primary goals of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is to reduce soil erosion.
Erosion of soil is a major environmental concern, as it deteriorates the quality of both the soil and water on your land. Eventually, this can lead to land that can no longer be cultivated, diminishing the amount of farmland that can be used for agricultural purposes.
In order to keep the country’s land productive for years to come, soil protection must be a priority for producers. Fortunately, many of CRP’s practices have been effectively preventing erosion for decades.
CRP practices reduce soil erosion
Throughout the program’s tenure since its establishment by the 1985 Farm Bill, CRP has been shown not only to limit erosion, but to improve the quality of the soil as well. As of September 2021, over 5.3 million acres have been enrolled in the program this year, ensuring that a vast portion of highly erodible land is protected from erosion and diminished quality.
To preserve vulnerable soil from erosion, CRP requires producers to establish conservation cover on fragile land. Protective cover, consisting of trees, grasses, wildflowers, and other diverse plants, help to prevent sheet, rill, and wind erosion.
Through CRP practices, there has been an astounding reduction in soil erosion by over 9 billion tons since 1986, preventing vast acres of land from being removed from production.
Effects on soil conservation
CRP’s effect on soil conservation has been more than substantial. In 2017, CRP reduced sediment loss by 192 million tons, not only preventing soil erosion, but also reducing the amount of sediment runoff in water sources.
In addition to reducing sediment loss, in 2017, CRP practices reduced levels of nitrogen and phosphorus leaving the soil by 521 million pounds and 103 million pounds, respectively. Since these nutrients can be harmful if leeched from the soil, CRP’s efforts to cut down on erosion are highly beneficial for water quality as well as maintaining soil health.
CRP ensures long-term soil health
By establishing CRP practices on your land, you are not only safeguarding the productivity of your soil for yourself, but for future generations to come. With the ample financial incentives and benefits provided to producers, in addition to the extensive environmental benefits, enrolling your land in CRP is a great option for responsible land stewardship.
Here at FDCE, we are dedicated to assisting you with establishing your CRP venture as quickly and efficiently as possible. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help you with your CRP project and keep your soil in exceptional condition!