Farmers and ranchers with expiring Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts may now re-enroll in certain CRP continuous signup practices or, if eligible, select a one-year contract extension, USDA announced today. Its Farm Service Agency (FSA) also is accepting offers from those who want to enroll for the first time in one of the country’s largest conservation programs. FSA says that letters are in the mail to all producers with expiring CRP contracts that discuss possible options. The agency’s 52nd signup for CRP will run until Aug. 23.
FSA stopped accepting offers last fall for the CRP continuous signup when 2014 Farm Bill authority expired. The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized the program this past December, and FSA has carefully analyzed the bill’s language and determined that a limited signup prioritizing water-quality practices furthers conservation goals and makes sense for producers as FSA works to fully implement the program.
This year’s CRP continuous signup includes such practices as grass waterways, filter strips, riparian buffers, wetland restoration and others. View a full list of practices approved for this signup. Continuous signup enrollment contracts last for 10 to 15 years. Soil rental rates are set at 90 percent of 2018 rates. Incentive payments are not offered for these practices.
USDA details that a one-year extension is being offered to existing CRP participants with expiring CRP contracts of 14 years or less that have practices not eligible for re-enrollment under this CRP signup. Alternatively, 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 the land is sold or rented to a beginning farmer or rancher or a member of a socially disadvantaged group.
Producers can also sign up under existing Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) agreements, according to USDA.
FSA is still planning a CRP general signup in December 2019, with a CRP Grasslands signup to follow. Those that extend their contracts may be eligible for one of these signup types or another continuous signup in the future, USDA says.