Prospective Participants/General Public

If you are looking to enroll in CRP, here is what you need to know:


To access the USDA Informational CRP video, ‘Silver Lining’ please click this link.

How do I enroll?

Participants can enroll in CRP in two ways. The first is through a competitive process known as CRP General Sign-up. General CRP sign-ups are announced on a periodic basis by the Secretary of Agriculture; they do not occur according to any fixed schedule. The second way to enroll is through CRP Continuous Sign-up which offers on a continuous basis. All enrollment offers are processed through your local FSA office.


Am I eligible?

To be eligible for CRP enrollment, a farmer must have owned or operated the land for at least 12 months prior the previous CRP sign-up period. Exceptions to this rule include:

  • Land acquired by the new owner due to the previous owner's death;
  • Change in ownership due to foreclosure; or
  • Land that was purchased by the new owner without the sole intention of placing it in CRP.
Land Eligibility

To be eligible for placement in CRP, land must be either: Cropland (including field margins) that is planted to an agricultural commodity 4 of the previous 6 crop years from 2008 to 2013, and which is physically and legally capable of being planted in a normal manner to an agricultural commodity; or Certain marginal pastureland that is suitable for use as a riparian buffer or for similar water quality purposes.

The land must be eligible and suitable for any of the following conservation practices:


Buffers for Wildlife Habitat


Wetlands Buffer


Riparian Buffer


Wetland Restoration


Filter Strips


Grass Waterways


Shelter Belts


Living Snow Fences


Contour Grass Strips


Salt Tolerant Vegetation


Shallow water areas for Wildlife


CRP Practice Library


CRP-1 is the contract that is signed between FSA and the participant. The CRP-1 period for CRP is 10-15 years. A participant is an owner or an operator who is enrolled in CRP.

Operator: An operator is an individual, entity, or joint operation who is determined by
COC as being in general control of the farming operations on the farm for the current year.

Owner: An owner is an individual or entity who has legal ownership of farmland.

For Continuous contracts, the effective date of CRP-1 is the first day of the month following the month COC (County committee) approves CRP-1. General CRP contracts start on October 1st. CRP-1 expires on September 30th of the final year of the contract.

Example: An owner/operator signs CRP-1 on August 17, 2007. COC approves CRP-1 on September 27, 2007. The effective date of the CRP contract is October 1, 2007. The contract period is October 1, 2007, through *--September 30, 2017.--*

Contract Revisions

Revise CRP-1’s only for the following reasons:

  • Change of participants
  • Change in owner/operator shares
  • Part of the land under CRP-1 is terminated by the owner/operator
  • Land under CRP-1 is withdrawn from cropland status
  • Land under CRP-1 is sold to another owner/operator
  • Loss of control of land
  • Acreage changes because of planimetering new aerial photography

Voluntary Withdrawal by Operator or Tenant from CRP-1

CRP-1 acreage over which an operator or tenant voluntarily relinquishes the right to CRP-1 benefits may be continued by the owner or other eligible participant becoming a successor in interest.

The participant acquiring an interest in CRP-1:

  • May share in payments made according to division of shares on CRP-1
  • Shall be responsible for complying with CRP-1 provisions
  • Shall be liable for payment reductions for noncompliance after becoming a party to CRP-1.

Policy for Terminating All Land under CRP-1

COC shall terminate all land under CRP-1 before its expiration date, if any of the following are met:

  • Participant loses control of or transfers all of the land under CRP-1 and there is no successor in interest
  • All signatories voluntarily request, in writing, to terminate all land under CRP-1
  • Participants’ request for termination of part of the land under CRP-1 was disapproved and participants proceed to violate the terms and conditions of CRP-1 on that land

Termination Request

CRP participants may request early termination of all or any part of the eligible acreage under contract by completing CRP-41. There is no specific signup for early termination. COC or designee shall approve all eligible requests upon notification of eligibility by NRCS. The contract termination shall become effective 60 calendar days from the date all participants sign CRP-41, if approved by COC. Contract acres must remain in compliance with the terms and conditions of CRP-1 until the effective contract termination date.

Eligible Person Acquiring Interest in CRP Land

An eligible person may become successor in interest to CRP-1 if:

  • Land has been sold
  • There has been a change in owner or operator
  • A foreclosure or involuntary loss of land occurs.

Eligible Succession

Before approving CRP-1 revisions, COC shall ensure that the successor in interest:

  • Understands that any outstanding adjustments because of violations by the previous participant will be the successor’s responsibility
  • Has 1 of the following:
    • a valid deed to the land under CRP-1
    • a contract-for-deed with the seller that has been properly filed under applicable State law
    • a final journal entry of a probate court showing change of ownership, if RA (Regional Attorney) concurs
    • acquired right of occupancy, through foreclosure proceedings, to the land under CRP-1


Cost-Share Payments

FSA will pay up to 50 percent of the eligible cost of establishing a CRP Practice. CRP cost share shall be paid only to participants who are a signatory to CRP-1 and have established the conservation practice. Cost share assistance shall not exceed 50 percent of the eligible costs of establishing the approved practice. Participants may receive cost share assistance from non-Federal sources; however, under no circumstances may the total cost share amount received exceed 100 percent of the cost of the practice.

Signing Incentive Payment (SIP)

SIP is a one-time incentive payment of $10/acre for each eligible acre enrolled for each full year of the contract (CRP-1) made to the participants (after all eligibility determinations have been made) who enroll in the following continuous signup practices:

  • CP5A-Field Windbreaks,
  • CP8A-Grassed Waterways,
  • CP16A-Shelterbelts,
  • CP17A-Living Snow Fences,
  • CP21-Filter Strips,
  • CP22-Riparian Buffer,
  • CP23-Wetland Restoration,
  • CP23A-Wetland Restoration Non-Floodplain,
  • CP27-Farmable Wetland,
  • CP28-Farmable Wetland Buffer,
  • CP29-Marginal Pastureland Wildlife Buffer,
  • CP30-Marginal Pastureland Wetland Buffer,
  • CP31-Bottomland Timber Establishment,
  • CP33-Field Borders,
  • CP36-Longleaf Pine Establishment
  • CP37-Duck Nesting Habitat
  • CP38A-SAFE-Buffers
  • CP38B-SAFE-Wetlands
  • CP38C-SAFE-Trees
  • CP38D-SAFE-Longleaf Pine
  • CP38E-SAFE-Grass
  • CP39-FWP Constructed Wetland
  • CP40-FWP Aquaculture Wetland Restoration
  • CP41-FWP Flooded Prairie Wetlands
  • CP42 (Continuous Signup)-Pollinator Habitat 
Performance Incentive Payment (PIP)

PIP is a one-time incentive payment made to participants who enroll land in CRP to be devoted to all continuous signup practices except:

  • CP15B-Establishment of Permanent Vegetative Cover, on Terraces,
  • CP23-Wetland Restoration,
  • CP23A-WetlandRestoration Non-Floodplain,
  • CP31-Bottomland Timber Establishment,
  • CP37-Duck Nesting Habitat

It is equal to 40 percent of the eligible installation costs for eligible participants.

Payment Guidelines

The maximum annual non-cost share payment that an eligible “person” can receive under CRP is $50,000 per fiscal year. This is a separate payment limitation applying only to CRP non-cost share payments.

Participants Exceeding the Maximum Payment Limitation

If the applicable payments (annual rental payment, CRP-SIP, PIP) will cause the maximum payment limitation to be exceeded, the applicable payments shall be reduced by the applicable amount.

SIP and PIP are one-time payments. If the participant’s SIP and PIP will result in the participant exceeding the $50,000 Fiscal Year annual payment limitation, then the following occurs:

  • COC shall reduce the applicable payment
  • The amount exceeding the payment limitation shall never be paid


An owner/operator enrolls 1,233.3 acres as practice CP1.  The annual rental rate is $49.50 per acre.

The calculated annual rental payment is 1,233.3 ac. x $49.50/ac. = $61,048.35.  Because of the $50,000 payment limitation, the participants' annual rental payment will be capped at $50,000 and the participant will not receive the $11,048 above that amount.

Payment Example

An owner/operator enrolls 3 acres of eligible wetlands and 9 acres of eligible buffer into CRP under FWP. The weighted average SRR (Soil Rental Rate) for the 3 predominant soils is $50 per acre. The owner/operator’s CRP-1 is for 14 years 2 months. The total eligible cost for the practice installation is $2,000.

The participant is eligible to receive the following payments:

Annual rental payment:

*--$50 per acre + (20 percent incentive times $50 per acre) + $2 (maintenance rate) = $62 per acre. Total annual rental payment = $744 per year ($62 times 12 acres).--*


$10 multiplied times 12 acres multiplied times 10 years = $1,200.


Total eligible cost for installing the practice is $2,000. Producer received $1,000 ($2,000 multiplied times 50 percent) in cost-share. $1000 is listed on AD-862, item H 2. PIP is calculated by multiplying AD-862, item H 2, times 80 percent. PIP is $800.

Rental Payments

FSA bases rental rates on the relative productivity of the soils within each county and the average dryland cash rent or cash rent equivalent. The maximum CRP rental rate for each offer is calculated in advance of enrollment. Producers may offer land at that rate or offer a lower rental rate to increase the likelihood that their offer will be accepted. The per-acre annual rental rate may not exceed FSA’s maximum payment amount and is calculated in advance of enrollment. While continuous sign-up acceptance is not determined by a competitive offer process, participants may elect to receive an amount less than the maximum payment rate.

Maintenance Incentive Payment

CRP annual rental payments may include an additional amount up to $2 per acre per year (for certain continuous signup practices, up to $7) as an incentive to perform certain maintenance obligations.

Other CRP Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are CRP payments taxable?

A: Certain CRP payments are subject to Federal income tax. Information is available on the IRS website at In the search box, enter “Conservation Reserve Program Annual Rental Payments” to learn more.

Q: What do I need to do to succeed a contract?

A: To succeed a contract, you must have 1 of the following:

  • a valid deed to the land under CRP-1
  • a contract-for-deed with the seller that has been properly filed under applicable State law
  • a final journal entry of a probate court showing change of ownership, if RA (Regional Attorney) concurs
  • acquired right of occupancy, through foreclosure proceedings, to the land under CRP-1

You must also understand that any outstanding adjustments because of violations by the previous participant will be your responsibility.  

Q: When can I mow my CRP?

A: Periodic mowing and mowing for cosmetic purposes is prohibited at all times. Annual mowing of CRP for weed control is prohibited.Mowing of CRP cover, not to exceed 20 percent of the total CRP acres in a field is permitted. This activity must be:

  • Included in the conservation plan
  • Part of a State-approved management plan for habitat maintenance and wildlife and land management
  • Conducted outside the primary nesting or brood rearing season.

Until a final status review has been completed by NRCS or TSP, COC, in consultation with NRCS, may allow participants to spray and mow the acreage under contract at any time, if this activity is required in the conservation plan to establish the approved cover.

Q: What do you mean by cropping history?

A: Historical acreage reporting for all croplands enrolled in CRP

Q: What practices are best for my land, or what practices are best for me?

A: Please contact your local FSA office to find the best match for you.

Q: Can I hunt wildlife on my CRP?

A: CRP participants may lease hunting rights, charge fees for access to hunters, or conduct other similar hunting operations on CRP acreage if this activity occurs during the normal hunting season for the pursuit of game that is normal to the area. Hunting must be conducted consistent with State laws and bag limits for the appropriate game species.