In brief

30th anniversary for nation’s most successful voluntary conservation program

GENESEE COUNTY — Farmers, landowners, and wildlife enthusiasts are reminded that the next general enrollment period for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) started Dec. 1, and ends on Feb. 26.

December 2015 also marked the 30th anniversary of CRP, a federally funded program that assists agricultural producers with the cost of restoring, enhancing, and protecting certain grasses, shrubs, and trees to improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and reduce loss of wildlife habitat.

As of September 2015, 24.2 million acres were enrolled in CRP. CRP protects more than 170,000 stream miles with riparian forest and grass buffers, enough to go around the world 7 times.

Participants in CRP establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees to control soil erosion, improve water quality, and develop wildlife habitat on marginally productive agricultural lands. In return, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) provides participants with rental payments and costshare assistance. Annual rental payments are per acres enrolled, and dependent on the 3 predominant soil types. There are other incentives based on the different CRP options, priority areas, and initiatives such as: increased rental rates, additional costshare, or sign-up bonuses.

Soil rental rates in Genesee County range from $48-$206 per acre with the county average around $89 per acre.

Basic eligibility requirements for CRP include cropland that has been planted to an agricultural commodity four of the previous six crop years from 2008-2013. Contact your local conservation office for more eligibility requirements.

Contracts on 1.64 million acres of CRP are set to expire on Sept. 30. Landowners with expiring contracts or landowners with environmentally sensitive land are encouraged to evaluate their options under CRP.

Details: Call 810-230-8766 ext. 3 or 102. — G.G.

Animal control warns of pet license scam

GENESEE COUNTY — Genesee County Animal Control has received information that person(s) identifying themselves as Animal Control, are going to homes in the Fenton area inquiring about animal licenses. The suspicious person(s) were reportedly dressed in professional clothing (shirt and tie) and showed a lanyard with identification.

Please be advised that these are NOT Animal Control employees.

A census will be done sometime after May 1, where Animal Control Officers will go house to house, but the employees will show identification and will be wearing a mandated Animal Control uniform.

If someone approaches your home inquiring about licenses (prior to May 1), please call 911 to report it to your local police department and Animal Control at 810-732-1660. — G.G.

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