USDA on Wednesday announced it was opening signup for the next general Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) with a goal to enroll 3.4 million acres this spring.
Enrollment for general CRP will run from Jan. 31 to March 11. Signup for the Grassland CRP will run from April 4 to May 13.
"We highly encourage farmers, ranchers and private landowners to consider the enrollment options available through CRP," said Zach Ducheneaux, Administrator of USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA). "Last year, we rolled out a better, bolder program, and we highly encourage you to consider its higher payment rates and other incentives. CRP is another way that we're putting producers and landowners at the center of climate-smart solutions that generate revenue and benefit our planet."
USDA noted landowners enrolled 4.6 million acres in CRP in 2021, including 2.5 million in the largest Grassland CRP signup in history. There are currently 22.1 million acres enrolled in CRP and USDA wants to reach 25.5 million acres -- the statutory cap for Fiscal Year 2022. Last year's enrollment increased CRP acreage overall by about 300,000 acres nationally.
While USDA looks to enroll at least 3.4 million acres, CRP contract data shows 3.97 million acres are set to expire from the program at the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.
The average total rate for CRP is $80.47 an acre nationally. General CRP average rates are $55.73 an acre. The rates do vary widely depending on local rental rates.
Last year, USDA created a Climate-Smart Practice Incentive to increase carbon sequestration and reduce greenhouse gas emission. The CRP Climate-Smart Practice Incentive also offset the decline in CRP rental rates set in the 2018 farm bill. Congress lowered rental rates to 85% of the average county rental rate in the farm bill.
Landowners interested in enrolling acres in CRP should contact their local USDA Service Center before the deadlines for signup.
More information on CRP can be found at https://www.fsa.usda.gov/…
Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com
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