USDA reopens continuous CRP sign up

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Buffer strip
A buffer strip near a stream.

WASHINGTON — USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will accept applications beginning June 3, for certain practices under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) continuous sign up and will offer extensions for expiring CRP contracts.

The 2018 farm bill reauthorized CRP, one of the country’s largest conservation programs.

FSA stopped accepting applications last fall for the CRP continuous signup when 2014 farm bill authority expired. Since passage of the 2018 farm bill last December, according to FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce, FSA has analyzed the language and determined that a limited signup prioritizing water quality practices furthers conservation goals as FSA works to fully implement the program.

Continuous sign up

This year’s sign up will include such practices as grassed waterways, filter strips, riparian buffers, wetland restoration and others.

Continuous sign up enrollment contracts are 10 to 15 years in duration. Soil rental rates will be set at 90 percent of the existing rates. Incentive payments will not be offered for these contracts.

Other signups

Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program Signup FSA will also reopen signup for existing Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) agreements.

Fordyce said FSA plans to open a CRP general sign up in December 2019 and a CRP Grasslands sign up later.

Contract extensions

A one-year extension will be offered to existing CRP participants who have expiring CRP contracts of 14 years or less. Producers eligible for an extension will receive a letter describing their options.

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 interested in applying for CRP continuous practices, including those under existing CREP agreements, or who need an extension, should contact their USDA service center beginning June 3.

To locate your local FSA office, visit www.farmers.gov. More information on CRP can be found at www.fsa.usda.gov/crp.

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