USDA accepts more than 1M acres in offers through Conservation Reserve Program general signup

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 18, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Wednesday the U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting more than 1 million acres in this year’s Conservation Reserve Program general signup.

This is one of several signups that USDA’s Farm Service Agency is holding for the program. The results for CRP General signup reflect the continued importance of CRP as a tool to help producers invest in the long-term health, sustainability, and profitability of their land and resources.

The signup’s results include over 3,000 acres in Ohio.

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“This year’s General CRP signup demonstrates the value and continued strength of this voluntary conservation program, which plays an important role in helping mitigate climate change and conserve our natural resources,” John Patterson, FSA state executive director in Ohio, said. “Today’s announcement is one of many enrollment and partnership opportunities within CRP, including opportunities through our working lands Grassland CRP, Continuous CRP, and Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program.

USDA will continue working to ensure producers and landowners have the information they need to take advantage of the options that work best for their operations.”

Offers for new land in this General CRP signup totaled about 295,000 acres nationwide.

Producers submitted re-enrollment offers for 891,000 expiring acres, reflecting the successes of participating in CRP longer term.

The total number of CRP acres will continue to climb in the coming weeks once FSA accepts acres from the Grassland CRP signup, which closed May 26.

Additionally, so far this year, FSA has received 761,000 offered acres for the Continuous CRP signup, for which FSA accepts applications year-round.

Through CRP, producers and landowners establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees, to control soil erosion, improve soil health and water quality, and enhance wildlife habitat on agricultural land.

In addition to the other well-documented benefits, lands enrolled in CRP are playing a key role in climate change mitigation efforts across the country.

Other CRP Signups

Continuous CRP, in which producers and landowners can enroll throughout the year.

Offers are automatically accepted provided the producer and land meet the eligibility requirements and the enrollment levels do not exceed the statutory cap. Continuous CRP includes the State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement Initiative, the Farmable Wetlands Program and the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program.

In CREP, which is available in certain geographies, partnerships with States, Tribes, and other entities are leveraged for participants to receive a variety of added incentives and flexibilities.

Also available is the Clean Lakes Estuaries and Rivers initiative. CLEAR30, a signup opportunity under that initiative available nationwide, gives producers and landowners across the country the opportunity to enroll in 30-year CRP contracts for water quality practices.