USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will process many pending eligible offers for land enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), and will temporarily suspend accepting most new offers until later in the 2018 fiscal year.
All current, eligible CRP continuous enrollment offers made through Sept. 30, 2017, except those made under the Pollinator Habitat Initiative (CP42), will be approved. Additionally, FSA is temporarily suspending acceptance of most offers going forward, providing time to review CRP allocation levels and avoid exceeding the statutory cap of 24 million acres.
The CRP acreage cap is a provision of the 2014 Farm Bill. Current enrollment is about 23.5 million acres nationwide. USDA is accepting all pending continuous enrollment offers made between May 4, 2017, and Sept. 30, 2017, except Pollinator Habitat Initiative offers, which are being declined because the program has met its acreage enrollment goal. USDA suspended acceptance of all new CRP continuous offers received or submitted after Sept. 30, 2017. The suspension will continue until later in the 2018 fiscal year. However, FSA will continue to accept eligible offers for state-specific Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and CRP Grasslands enrollment. Offers received on or after Oct. 1, 2017, are subject to fiscal year 2018 rental rates, which have been adjusted to reflect current market conditions and established after careful review of the latest USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) cash rent data.
In return for enrolling in CRP contracts that last between 10 and 15 years, FSA provides participating landowners with rental payments and cost-share assistance. CRP pays farmers and ranchers who remove sensitive lands from production and plant certain grasses, shrubs, and trees that improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and increase wildlife habitat. Payment totals for 2017 totaled more than $1.6 billion.
For more information about CRP, contact your local FSA office or visit www.fsa.usda.gov/crp. To locate your local FSA office, visit http://offices.usda.gov.
Source: USDA Farm Service Agency December Newsletter – Lone Star State Edition