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What is the Conservation Reserve Program?
The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a voluntary program for agricultural landowners. Through CRP, landowners can receive annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term vegetative cover practices on eligible farmland.
The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) makes annual rental payments based on the agriculture rental value of the land and provides cost-share assistance for up to 50% of the participant’s costs in establishing approved conservation practices. Participants enroll in CRP contracts for 10 to 15 years.
Benefits of the Conservation Reserve Program
CRP encourages farmers to convert highly erodible cropland to vegetative covers, such as tame or native grasses, wildlife plantings, trees, filterstrips or riparian buffers. Therefore, it protects millions of acres of American topsoil from erosion and is designed to conserve our natural resources. It reduces soil erosion, sedimentation in streams and lakes and water runoff, which protects groundwater and helps improve water quality in Indiana’s rivers, lakes and streams. The vegetative covers establish wildlife habitat and therefore contribute to increased wildlife populations.
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) administers CRP while technical support functions are provided by:
To be eligible for placement in CRP, land must be either:
In addition to the eligible land requirements, cropland must meet one of the following criteria:
FSA provides CRP participants with annual rental payments, including certain incentive payments, and cost-share assistance:
Offers for CRP contracts are ranked according to the Environmental Benefits Index (EBI). FSA collects data for each of the EBI factors based on the relative environmental benefits for the land offered. Each eligible offer is ranked in comparison to all other offers and selections made from that ranking. FSA uses the following EBI factors to assess the environmental benefits for the land offered:
For more information on CRP, contact your local FSA office.
Producers can offer land for CRP general sign-up enrollment only during designated sign-up periods. For more information on upcoming sign-ups, contact your local FSA office.
CRP Continuous Sign-up
Environmentally desirable land devoted to certain conservation practices may be enrolled at any time under CRP continuous sign-up. Certain eligibility requirements still apply, but offers are not subject to competitive bidding. Further information on CRP continuous sign-up is available in the FSA fact sheet “Conservation Reserve Program Continuous Sign-up”.