Sign-Up Open for USDA's Grassland CRP

Producers, Landowners Can Sign Up for USDA's Grassland CRP Through June 28

Russ Quinn
By  Russ Quinn , DTN Staff Reporter
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Agricultural producers and landowners can now sign up for the Grassland Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) through June 28. (DTN file photo)

OMAHA (DTN) -- Agricultural producers and private landowners can now sign up for the Grassland Conservation Reserve Program (Grassland CRP), USDA announced on Monday. The sign-up runs from June 3-28, according to a USDA news release.

Grassland CRP is a voluntary working lands conservation program that enables participants to conserve grasslands and provide important conservation benefits for wildlife, soil health and carbon sequestration. Administered by USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA), the program allows most grazing and haying practices to continue.

USDA reported that more than 2.3 million acres from agricultural producers and private landowners were accepted through the 2023 Grassland CRP signup. That sign-up reflects the continued success and value of investments in voluntary, producer-led, working lands conservation programs, USDA stated in the release. The current total participation in Grassland CRP is 8.64 million acres, which is part of the 24.8 million acres in CRP opportunities overall.

"Grassland CRP is a vital conservation tool that supports two of USDA's top priorities: the wellbeing of American agriculture and the health of America's grasslands, which provides critical environmental benefits for wildlife and carbon sequestration," FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux stated in the news release.

"Over the past three years, we have seen historical interest in the Grassland Conservation Reserve Program with producers signing up to conserve over 6.8 million acres," Ducheneaux said. "This historical interest from agriculture has proven that agricultural productivity and conservation priorities are not exclusive from one another, but can coexist and, more importantly, complement and enhance one other."

FSA is also accepting applications for the Continuous CRP sign-up, which opened in January 2023. Under this enrollment, producers and landowners can enroll in CRP throughout the year. Offers are automatically accepted, provided the producer and land meet the eligibility requirements and the enrollment levels do not exceed the statutory cap.

FSA also offers financial assistance to producers and landowners enrolled in CRP to improve their forests through the Forest Management Incentive (FMI) program. This program helps participants with forest management practices, such as brush management and prescribed burning.

Producers with expiring CRP acres can use the Transition Incentives Program (TIP), which incentivizes producers who sell or enter a long-term lease with a beginning, veteran, or socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher who plans to sustainably farm or ranch the land.

Landowners and producers interested in CRP should contact their local USDA Service Center to learn more or to apply for the program before the June 28 deadline.

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Russ Quinn