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Conservation Reserve Program



About the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)

CRP is a land conservation program administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). In exchange for a yearly rental payment, farmers enrolled in the program agree to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and plant species that will improve environmental health and quality. Contracts for land enrolled in CRP are from 10 to 15 years in length. The long-term goal of the program is to re-establish valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and reduce loss of wildlife habitat.

Created in 1985, CRP is one of the largest private-lands conservation programs in the United States. Thanks to voluntary participation by farmers and landowners, CRP has achieved significant goals in conservation and sustainability.

 

CRP enrollment options include General CRPGrassland CRP and Continuous CRP. The Continuous CRP signup also includes additional options, such as CLEAR30State Acres For Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE)Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, Farmable Wetlands Program and Forest Management Incentive (FMI).

News

Sign up for Grassland CRP ran June 3 - 28, 2024.  Grassland CRP is a working lands program – helping producers and landowners protect grassland from conversion while enabling haying and grazing activities to continue. Lands enrolled support haying and grazing operations and promotes plant and animal biodiversity. Read more in our June 3 news release. 

Signup for General CRP ran from March 4 to 29, 2024. General CRP includes a Climate-Smart Practice Incentive to help increase carbon sequestration and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by helping producers and landowners establish trees and permanent grasses, enhance wildlife habitat and restore wetlands.  Read more in our March 2 news release
FSA is now accepting applications for the reopened Continuous CRP signup. FSA encourages agricultural producers and landowners interested in conservation opportunities for their land in exchange for yearly rental payments to consider the enrollment options available. Read more in our January 11, 2024 news release

USDA is encouraging agricultural producers and private landowners enrolled in CRP to learn more about the opportunities with FSA's Forest Management Initiative (FMI). Through the initiative, USDA provides financial assistance to those with active CRP contracts with forest cover to improve the health of their forests. To be eligible, you must have properly completed authorized forest management practice activities to improve the condition of resources, promote forest management, and enhance wildlife habitat.  Read more in our January 25, 2024 news release.

2023 Enrollment

 

In 2023, producers nationwide enrolled 927,000 acres through the General CRP Signup, more than 2.3 million acres through Grassland CRP Signup, and 694,000 acres through the Continuous CRP Signup. These 2023 signups bring the current total of acres involved in CRP enrollments to 24.8 million. 

 

Also, FSA issued more than $1.77 billion in October 2023 to the more-than 667,000 agricultural producers and landowners for more than 23 million acres enrolled in CRP in 2023. Read more in our October 16, 2023 news release.

 

Improvements to CRP and Climate Incentives and Results

Since 2021, FSA has taken steps to improve the program. This included higher payment rates, new incentives, and a more targeted focus on CRP’s role in climate change mitigation. FSA introduced a new climate-smart practice incentive for General CRP and Continuous CRP designed to reward participants who implement conservation practices that increase carbon sequestration and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To learn more about updates to CRP, read our “What’s New with CRP” fact sheet.

Meanwhile, FSA also launched a CRP Climate Change Mitigation Assessment Initiative to collaborate with three assessment teams to monitor the impact of CRP perennial grasses, tree plantings and wetlands on soil carbon and greenhouse gases. In addition, USDA and other researchers are conducting field experiments to improve cover establishment as the climate changes. 

FSA also renewed its emphasis on CREP. This includes hiring additional staff, working to improve the flexibility of the program, and increasing participation among tribes.  In 2022, FSA entered into its first-ever CREP agreements with Tribal Nations—reflecting priorities and goals of USDA to broaden the scope and reach of its voluntary, incentive-based conservation programs to engage underserved communities, the Cheyenne River, Oglala and Rosebud Sioux Tribes entered into CREP agreements with FSA to enroll eligible grassland, pastureland, and other agricultural lands within the boundaries of their reservations in this conservation program. 

CRP and Disaster Assistance

CRP haying and grazing provides for emergency haying and grazing on certain CRP practices in a county designated as D2 or higher on the U.S. Drought Monitor, or in a county where there is at least 40 percent loss in forage production.  Our haying and grazing webpage resources include eligible county maps, tables and CRP practices. For producers not in an eligible county, there are options available under non-emergency haying and grazing provisions outside of the primary nesting season.


CRP Resources