By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

Kansas farmers soon will be trudging back into county Farm Service Agency offices, presented with the chance to enroll land in the popular Conservation Reserve Program.

Enrollment begins March 12 and will continue for four weeks.

Currently, Kansas has slightly more than 2.5 million acres enrolled in CRP, but that's down almost 200,000 acres -- the victim of improving crop and cattle prices.

Participation in northwest Kansas has remained fairly stable, declining by only 40,000 acres in early 2011 when the last enrollment results were announced.

How much more will be lost this time around is uncertain, especially considering the number of acres expiring -- and eligible to be re-enrolled -- is slightly higher than a year ago.

Last year, nearly 532,000 acres was expiring; this year, nearly 600,000 acres of CRP in Kansas is expected to expire.

Of that, nearly 80,000 acres are in northwest Kansas.

Nationally, nearly 6.5 million acres are expected to expire this year.

Enrollment continues through April 6.