The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) provides annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to producers to place their marginal cropland in conservation and out of production. CRP is a voluntary program available to agricultural producers to help them safeguard environmentally sensitive land. Producers enrolled in CRP can receive payments to plant long-term, resource-conserving covers to improve the quality of water, control soil erosion, and enhance wildlife habitat. FSA provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance.
Producers may enter into 10 to 15 year contracts to establish long-term covers on land to reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, and enhance wildlife habitat. In return for establishing and maintaining conservation covers, landowners receive:
- annual rental payments,
- cost share assistance, not to exceed 50 percent of the eligible costs, and
- under certain conditions, incentives for enrolling land, undertaking particular practices, and performing certain maintenance practices.
Farmers can apply to re-enroll land for additional ten- or fifteen-year contracts.
CRP protects millions of acres of American topsoil from erosion and is designed to safeguard the Nation’s natural resources. By reducing water runoff and sedimentation, CRP protects groundwater and helps improve the condition of lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams. Acreage enrolled in the CRP is planted to resource-conserving vegetative covers, making the program a major contributor to increased wildlife populations in many parts of the country.
FSA administers CRP, while technical support functions are provided by:
- USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS);
- USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service;
- State forestry agencies;
- Local soil and water conservation districts; and
- Private sector providers of technical assistance.
Producers can offer land for CRP general sign-up enrollment only during designated sign-up periods. For information on upcoming sign-ups, contact your local FSA office. To find your local office, visit FSA’s Website.
In return for establishing long-term, resource-conserving covers, FSA provides annual rental payments to participants. FSA bases rental rates on the relative productivity of the soils within each county and the average dryland cash rent or cash-rent equivalent. The maximum CRP rental rate for each offer is calculated in advance of enrollment. Producers may offer land at that rate or offer a lower rental rate to increase the likelihood that their offer will be accepted.
Maintenance Incentive Payments
- CRP annual rental payments may include an additional amount up to $5 per acre per year as an incentive to perform certain maintenance obligations.
- FSA provides cost-share assistance to participants who establish approved cover on eligible cropland. The cost-share assistance can be an amount not more than 50 percent of the participants’ costs in establishing approved practices.
- FSA may offer additional financial incentives of up to 20 percent of the annual payment for certain continuous sign-up practices.