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USDA Processing Pending Conservation Reserve Program Continuous Enrollment Offers Acceptance of Most 2018 Offers Temporarily Suspended

USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will process many pending eligible offers for land enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), and will temporarily suspend accepting most new offers until later in the 2018 fiscal year.

All current, eligible CRP continuous enrollment offers made through Sept. 30, 2017, except for those made under the Pollinator Habitat Initiative (CP42), will be approved,  Additionally, FSA is temporarily suspending acceptance of most offers going forward to provide time to review CRP allocation levels, and to avoid exceeding the statutory cap of 24 million acres.

The CRP acreage cap is a provision of the 2014 Farm Bill. Current enrollment is about 23.5 million acres nationwide. USDA is accepting all pending continuous enrollment offers that were made beginning on May 4, 2017, and extending through Sept. 30, 2017, except Pollinator Habitat Initiative offers. Pollinator acreage offers are being declined because the program has met its acreage enrollment goal. Effective immediately, USDA is suspending acceptance of all new CRP continuous offers received or submitted after Sept. 30, 2017. The suspension will continue until later in the 2018 fiscal year.

However, FSA will continue to accept eligible offers for state-specific Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and CRP Grasslands enrollment. Offers received on or after Oct. 1, 2017, are subject to fiscal year 2018 rental rates which have been adjusted to reflect current market conditions and were established after careful review of the latest USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) cash rent data.

In return for enrolling in CRP, USDA, through FSA, provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance. Landowners enter into contracts that last between 10 and 15 years. CRP pays farmers and ranchers who remove sensitive lands from production and plant certain grasses, shrubs and trees that improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and increase wildlife habitat. Payment totals for 2017 were announced earlier this week totaling over $1.6 billion. 

For more information about CRP, contact your local FSA office or visit To locate your local FSA office, visit

Dinehart Lecture Series to Feature Minnesota 34th Infantry Division in World War II and a WWII National Guard Display

The December Dinehart Lecture will feature speaker Gary Kass presenting “Quiet Valor: The 34th Minnesota Infantry Division in WWII,” about the role of the Minnesota and Iowa National Guard in the Second World War. Accompanying the talk will be a traveling exhibit from Fort Ripley on the National Guard in WWII. The lecture will be Thursday, December 14th at noon in the Murray County 4-H building on the fairgrounds in Slayton. Bring your lunch and hear the story of Minnesota’s first overseas division in the war. The cost is $3.00 and Historical Society members are free.

In the fall of 1941 members of the Minnesota 34th Infantry Division of the National Guard were training at Fort Claiborne, Louisiana. They subsequently won the series of War Games termed “The Louisiana Maneuvers,” where soldiers were trained to withstand the rigors of real wartime experiences. Deemed ready for battle, the 34th was sent to Ireland to further prepare for the war. The division, with its accompanying cohorts and components, was the first to be sent overseas and stayed until the completion of the European war. They fought in some of the hardest terrain and environments of the conflict. Gary Kass, is a retired SFC NG, from Balaton. He is a past board member of the Murray County Historical Society.

Early Childhood Screening

Murray County Central Schools will host an Early Childhood Screening for all children who were born before October 19th, 2014 and have not been previously screened.  Early Childhood Screening is required in Minnesota and it is provided free of charge to all families.  Early Childhood Screening consists of developmental screenings (motor skills, speech and language assessment, cognitive skills, social/emotional parent questionnaire), a health history and immunization review, along with height, weight, vision and hearing screenings.

The next Early Childhood Screening will be held on Friday, January 19th at MCC West Elementary.  To schedule your child’s appointment, please call Amanda Tentinger at 507-836-6450 extension 5111.  If unavailable, please leave a detailed message.  Thank you.