The United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency will accept applications for certain practices under the Conservation Reserve Program continuous sign-up beginning June 3rd and offer extensions for expiring CRP contracts.
The FSA stopped accepting applications last fall for the CRP continuous sign up when 2014 Farm Bill authority expired, however, the 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized CRP.
FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce says the FSA has carefully analyzed the language of the 2018 Farm Bill since its passage in December and determined a limited sign up prioritizing water-quality practices furthers conservation goals and makes sense for producers as the FSA works to fully implement the program.
CRP allows agricultural producers to set aside land to reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, provide habitat for wildlife, and boost soil health. This year’s sign up will include practices such as grassed waterways, filter strips, riparian buffers, and wetland restoration.
Continuous sign-up enrollment contracts are 10 to 15 years in duration with soil rental rates to be set at 90% of the existing rates. Incentive payments will not be offered for those contracts.
The FSA will also reopen sign up for existing Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program agreements. Fordyce says the FSA plans to open a CRP general sign up in December and CRP grasslands sign-up later.
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 describing options.
Producers with expiring contracts may have the option to enroll in the Transition Incentives Program, which provides two additional annual rental payments on the condition of land is sold or rented to a beginning farmer or rancher or member of a socially disadvantaged group.
Producers interested in applying for CRP continuous practices or who need an extension should contact their USDA service center beginning June 3rd.
More information can be found at THIS LINK.