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Conservation Reserve Program

About the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)

Thumbnail image depicting Bumblebee

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.

Signed into law by President Ronald Reagan 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 CRP, Grassland CRP and Continuous CRP (which includes CLEAR30, State Acres For Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE), Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, and Farmable Wetlands Program)

2023 Signups

The Continuous CRP Signup is ongoing

Dates for other CRP signups, such as General, Grassland, and CLEAR30 are forthcoming. 

Producers interested in enrolling in CRP should contact the FSA office at their local USDA Service Center.  

2022 Enrollment

Nationwide, in 2022, producers have enrolled 1.7 million acres through the General Signup, more than 2.4 million acres through Grassland CRP Signup, and 875,000 acres have been submitted through the Continuous CRP Signup. This means more than 5 million acres are entering CRP in 2023, surpassing the 3.9 million acres expiring this year. Read more in our May 3 General Signup and July 12 Grassland Signup news releases.

Improvements to CRP

In 2021, FSA introduced higher payment rates, new incentives, and a more targeted focus on CRP’s role in climate change mitigation. To learn more about updates to CRP, read our “What’s New with CRP” fact sheet or our April 21, 2021 news release.

FSA has also renewed its emphasis on its partnership programs, including CREP. This includes hiring additional staff and working to improve the flexibility of the program. Read our December 20, 2021 news release.

Haying and Grazing

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 and Climate Mitigation

Through the CRP Climate Change Mitigation Assessment Initiative, FSA will further quantify program benefits to better target CRP toward climate outcomes and improve existing models and conservation planning tools.

In October 2021, USDA awarded a total of $10 million to three partners that will monitor and measure how key CRP practices impact soil carbon. These practices include perennial grasses, tree plantings and wetlands. 

To learn more, read the October 12, 2021 news release, May 25, 2021 news release or visit our page on CRP Monitoring, Assessment and Evaluation projects.


CRP Resources