On December 1, 2015, general enrollment for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) was opened by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This December marks the Farm Bill program’s 30th anniversary of assisting agricultural producers with the cost of restoring, improving, and protecting sensitive environmental areas.
Participants in the program are required to establish long-term improvements in the form of native plants or “covers” to control soil erosion, enhance water quality, and develop wildlife on marginally productive agricultural lands. As an incentive, the Farm Service Agency of the USDA makes rental payments to participants and assists with costs. The program benefits farmers by providing additional income during economically challenging periods when commodity prices are low.
Many CRP contracts are set to expire in September of 2016. The USDA is encouraging producers with expiring contracts and producers with environmentally sensitive lands to evaluate their options and determine if enrollment is right for them for the upcoming contract term.
If you have questions about CRP or would like assistance in reviewing a CRP contract, please contact our Agricultural Industry Group.