At the November 13, 2015 meeting of the Allamakee SWCD commissioners, a policy was established regarding the approval of plans for specific Continuous CRP practices that include CP33-Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds, CP42-Pollinator Habitat, HELI (Highly Erodible Land Initiative), and SAFE Gaining Ground (State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement) as well as all General CRP practices.
The policy states the following:
If more than 40% of the predominant soil types enrolled are A, B, C, or D slope, the plan will not be approved unless the soil types have weighted average CSRs of 35 or less.
You will receive a letter if your CRP plan is not approved and the following options are available.
- Revise the offer to only include the steeper ground
- Appeal the decision in writing and request that the NRCS approve the plan.
The rationale that the commissioners have is:
We as elected officials are charged with properly managing the resources, fulfilling the intent of legislation, and wisely utilizing conservation dollars. We feel that by implementing the above policy, we are meeting this goal. The CRP program was established to enroll highly sensitive areas into a vegetative cover for soil protection, water quality, and wildlife habitat. Due to the limited amount of acres in these programs, we want to make sure that the acres enrolled are best suited for these programs in an effort to help conserve our natural resources and conservation dollars. At the same time, we want to keep productive farmland available and used wisely. Enrolling productive farmland into the CRP contradicts the original goal of the program and could potentially prevent other, more sensitive areas from being enrolled when acreage limits are met. In addition, we feel that this program makes it difficult for beginning farmers to get their start or small farmers to acquire additional acres when they have to compete with CRP rental rates that exceed costs of crop production. We believe that keeping productive land in production and enrolling the most sensitive land in CRP is the best use of our resources within the county and of federal conservation dollars.
If you would like to discuss this policy with any of the commissioners, please contact the SWCD office.