Agricultural producers invited to join Continuous CRP program

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) started to accept applications for the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (Continuous CRP) signup on Jan. 12, 2024. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) encourages agricultural producers and landowners interested in conservation opportunities for their land in exchange for yearly rental payments to consider the enrollment options available through Continuous CRP, which also includes the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) offered by FSA partners. Additionally, producers participating in CRP can apply to re-enroll if their contracts will expire this year.   

“We are pleased to announce we are now accepting Continuous CRP offers,” said FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “Continuous CRP is one of the best conservation tools we can provide producers and landowners. Whether a producer wants to focus on water quality benefits or work with one of our partners to address a natural resource concern in their area, the program offers many options to help you meet your resource conservation goals.”  

On Nov. 16, 2023, President Biden signed into law H.R. 6363, the Further Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act, 2024 (Pub. L. 118-22), which extended the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Pub. L. 115-334), more commonly known as the 2018 Farm Bill, through Sept. 30, 2024. This extension allows authorized programs, including CRP, to continue operating.   

To submit an offer, producers should contact the FSA at their local USDA Service Center by July 31, 2024, in order to have an offer effective by Oct. 1, 2024. To ensure enrollment acreages do not exceed the statutory cap, FSA will accept offers from producers on a first-come, first-served basis and will return offers for approval in batches throughout the year.  

Additionally, producers with acres enrolled in Continuous CRP set to expire Sept. 30, 2024, can offer acres for re-enrollment beginning Jan.12, 2024. A producer can both enroll new acres into Continuous CRP and re-enroll any acres expiring Sept.30, 2024.   

FSA water quality practices, such as riparian buffers, prairie strips, grassed waterways, and wetlands, will receive an additional 20% incentive. Buffer practices have a positive impact on water quality. Additionally, the Climate-Smart Practice Incentive launched in 2021 is also available in the Continuous signup.     

There are several enrollment options within Continuous CRP, including:  

  • CREP: Working with conservation partners, CREP leverages federal and non-federal funds to target specific state, regional, tribal, or nationally significant conservation concerns.
  • State Acres For Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE): The initiative restores vital habitats to meet high-priority state wildlife conservation goals.
  • Highly Erodible Lands Initiative (HELI): Producers and landowners can enroll in CRP to establish long-term cover on highly erodible cropland that has a weighted erodibility index (EI) greater than or equal to 20.
  • Farmable Wetlands Program: Producers and landowners can enroll land in CRP to restore previously farmed wetlands and wetland buffers, improving both vegetation and water flow.   
  • Clean Lake Estuaries and Rivers (CLEAR) Initiative and CLEAR30: This initiative prioritizes and offers additional incentives for water quality practices on the land that, if enrolled, will help reduce sediment loadings, nutrient loadings, and harmful algal blooms. Through CLEAR30, a component of this initiative, these additional incentives for the adoption of water quality practices can be accessed in 30-year contracts.  

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