Ag Policy Blog

Signup Begins for CRP

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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Signup started Tuesday for the next general enrollment in USDA's Conservation Reserve Program.

USDA issued a release reminding farmers that CRP enrollment runs from Dec. 1 until Feb. 26, 2016.

CRP is capped at 25 million acres under the 2014 farm bill. The program has been scaled back since hitting 37 million acres as recently as 2007.

As of now, CRP accounts for 24.2 million acres with contracts expiring next Sept. 30 on 1.64 million acres. Farmers with land expiring from CRP are eligible to enroll that land in the Conservation Stewardship Program.

Generally, CRP acres are limited to 25% of a county's cropland. The farm bill also has newer provisions for re-enrolling acreage in grass for livestock production as well.

The 2014 also farm bill created special provisions for beginning, socially disadvantaged and veterans seeking to enroll in conservation programs such as CRP.

This month actually marks the 30th anniversary of CRP as well. USDA highlights that since CRP was created in 1985, the program has:

-Prevented more than 9 billion tons of soil from eroding, enough soil to fill 600 million dump trucks;

-Reduced nitrogen and phosphorous runoff relative to annually tilled cropland by 95 and 85 percent respectively;

-Sequestered an annual average of 49 million tons of greenhouse gases, equal to taking 9 million cars off the road.

Like other farm programs, landowners enrolled in CRP are subject to a $900,000 a year adjusted gross income limit.

If you really want to get into the weeds of CRP, read the rule from the 2014 farm bill. https://www.federalregister.gov/…

For more information, go to www.fsa.usda.gov/conservation or visit your local Farm Service Agency office.

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