Resumes Continuous Conservation Reserve Program Enrollment
One-Year Extension Available to Holders of
Many Expiring Contracts through Continuous Signup
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[August 13, 2018]
As part of a 33-year effort to protect
sensitive lands and improve water quality and wildlife habitat on
private lands, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will resume
accepting applications for the voluntary Conservation Reserve
Program (CRP). Eligible farmers, ranchers, and private landowners
can sign up at their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office between
June 4 and Aug. 17, 2018.
FSA stopped accepting applications last fall for the CRP
continuous signup (excluding applications for the Conservation
Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and CRP grasslands). This
pause allowed USDA to review available acres and avoid exceeding
the 24 million-acre CRP cap set by the 2014 Farm Bill. New
limited practice availability and short sign up period helps
ensure that landowners with the most sensitive acreage will
enroll in the program and avoid unintended competition with new
and beginning farmers seeking leases. CRP enrollment currently
is about 22.7 million acres.
2018 Signup for CRP
For this year’s signup, limited priority practices are available
for continuous enrollment. They include grassed waterways,
filter strips, riparian buffers, wetland restoration and others.
View a full list of practices.
FSA will use updated soil rental rates to make annual rental
payments, reflecting current values. It will not offer incentive
payments as part of the new signup.
USDA will not open a general signup this year, however, a
one-year extension will be offered to existing CRP participants
with expiring CRP contracts of 14 years or less. Producers
eligible for an extension will receive a letter with more
Additionally, FSA established new ranking criteria for CRP
Grasslands. To guarantee all CRP grasslands offers are treated
equally, applicants who previously applied will be asked to
reapply using the new ranking criteria. Producers with pending
applications will receive a letter providing the options.
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In return for enrolling land in CRP, USDA, through FSA on behalf of
the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), provides participants with
annual rental payments and cost-share assistance. Landowners enter
into contracts that last between 10 and 15 years. CRP pays producers
who remove sensitive lands from production and plant certain
grasses, shrubs and trees that improve water quality, prevent soil
erosion and increase wildlife habitat.
The new changes to CRP do not impact the Conservation Reserve
Enhancement Program, a related program offered by CCC and state
Producers wanting to apply for the CRP continuous signup or CRP
grasslands should contact their USDA service center. To locate your
local FSA office, visit https://www.farmers.gov. More information on
CRP can be found at www.fsa.usda.gov/crp.
[USDA Farm Service Agency]