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CRP Grasslands sign-up now open

Farmers and landowners can now apply for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Grasslands sign-up until August 20, 2021. The CRP Grassland sign-up is competitive, and FSA will provide for annual rental paymeents for land dedicated to conservation purposes. CRP Grasslands helps landowners protect grassland, including rangeland, pastureland, and certain other lands, while maintaining the areas as working grazing lands. Protecting grasslands positively contributes to the economy of many areas, provides plant and animal diversity, and offers important carbon sequestration benefits.

USDA has updated sign-up options with more incentives for producers and increased conservation and climate benefits. A minimum rental rate of $15 per acre has been established and will benefit 1,300 counties.

To focus on important wildlife corridors, FSA also identified National Grassland Priority Zones, providing extra incentives to producers for enrolling grasslands in important migratory corridors and environmentally sensitive areas – the Greater Yellowstone Elk Migration Corridor and the Severe Wind Erosion – Dust Bowl Zone. Counties within these two zones get extra ranking points as well as $5 added to their rental rate. The CRP Grasslands Ranking Factors fact sheet has more information.

“We are excited to roll out our new and improved CRP Grasslands sign-ups,” says FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “Bottom line, CRP now makes more financial sense for producers while also providing a bigger return on investment in terms of natural resource benefits. The Grasslands sign-up is part of a broader suite of tools available through CRP to integrate key conservation practices on our nation’s working lands.”

How to sign up

Contact USDA by August 20 to enroll in the CRP Grasslands sign-up. Service Center staff continue to work with farmers and landowners via phone, email, and other digital tools. Because of the pandemic, some USDA Service Centers are open to limited visitors. Contact your Service Center to set up an in-person or phone appointment. Additionally, more information related to USDA’s response and relief for producers can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

CRP history

CRP is one of the largest voluntary private-lands conservation programs in the United States. It was signed into law in 1985. CRP was originally intended to primarily control soil erosion and potentially stabilize commodity prices by taking marginal lands out of production. The program has evolved over the years, providing many conservation and economic benefits. The program marked its 35-year anniversary this past December.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is engaged in a whole-of-government effort to combat the climate crisis and conserve and protect our nation’s lands, biodiversity, and natural resources, including our soil, air, and water. Through conservation practices, USDA aims to enhance economic growth and create new streams of income for farmers, ranchers, producers, and private foresters. Successfully meeting these challenges will require USDA and our agencies to pursue a coordinated approach alongside USDA stakeholders, including state, local, and tribal governments.

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