Habitats for the creatures that help to spread flowers and plants are now accepted as part of a conservation program.

The Lubbock County USDA Farm Service Agency has announced that pollinator habitats will now be accepted as a Continuous Sign-up Conservation Reserve Program practice.

CCRP is a voluntary program that helps producers apply conservation practices to safeguard environmentally sensitive land.

Pollinator habitats are areas of permanent vegetation located in an agricultural landscape.

Lubbock County FSA Executive Director Cary Hanlin discussed the issue, saying “Pollinators provide a very important ecological service. Approximately three quarters of all flowering plants rely upon external assistance to pollinate their flowers.”

In the United States, insects pollinate $40 billion worth of products annually.

Participants in the newly-enrolled pollinator habitat practices are eligible to receive a $150 CRP sign-up incentive payment per acre, a one-time payment issued after the contract is improved. Other programs eligible for the increased SIP include wetland restoration and habitat buffers for upland birds.

The SIP for all other practices remains unchanged at $100 per acre.

For more information about the continuous conservation reserve program, contact the Lubbock County FSA office at 785-5644 or visit www.fsa.usda.gov.