Last minute news! The deadline for accepting applications for the Grassland Reserve Program is quickly approaching. And that’s putting it lightly.
Grassland Reserve Program
The deadline for submitting Grassland Reserve Program applications is Jan. 29 for applicants to submit offers for Grassland Reserve Program easement funding in 2010 and Feb. 12 for Grassland Reserve Program rental contracts.
The Grassland Reserve Program is a jointly administered program between FSA and Natural Resources Conservation Service. The Grassland Reserve Program was revitalized as a part of the 2008 Farm Bill with a goal of enrolling 1.2 million acres nationwide.
The purpose of Grassland Reserve Program is to assist landowners and operators to protect grazing uses and related conservation values by conserving and restoring grassland resources on eligible private lands. Both agencies accept applications on a continuous basis; however, ranking dates are established to evaluate and select applications for current year funding.
Any applications received after this date shall be retained until the next ranking period. Producers not accepted during previous Grassland Reserve Program sign-ups must reapply to be considered for enrollment in 2010.
Preference will be given to:
• Working grazing operations with an approved grazing plan;
• Land that has been historically dominated by grassland and provides habitat for animal or plant populations of significant ecological value;
• Land which contains historical or archeological resources; and
• Land expiring from the Conservation Reserve Program on Sept. 30. Only landowners may voluntarily apply for Grassland Reserve Program easements. Either owners or operators may voluntarily apply for Grassland Reserve Program rental contracts as long as the operator can provide proper documents to show control of rental acres during the entire contract period.
Participants must meet adjusted gross income requirements, must be in conservation compliance and cannot exceed the $50,000 payment limitation. Rental contracts may be for duration of 10 years, 15 years or 20 years and rental payments vary by county and range from $10.00 to $16.50 per acre per year of the contract.
Easements are permanent and a payment is based on the geographic area rate cap of the land less the grazing value. Interested landowners and operators may visit their local USDA Service Center to find out more about enrolling in the Grassland Reserve Program or other Conservation programs.
That’s All for Now,