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Ongoing Studies



Partnering Organization Project Title Project Description
University of Northern Iowa/Tallgrass Prairie Center Enhancing the Value of the Conservation Reserve Program to Monarch Recovery in the Upper Midwest This project will enhance the value of the Conservation Reserve Program to monarch butterfly recovery in the upper Midwest.
US Fish and Wildife Service Wildlife habitat and grassland targeting for the Conservation Reserve Program This project will develop a set of metrics to evaluate and prioritze landscapes to increase the wildlife benefits of grassland resotration in CRP and a national land cover map to identify potentially native grasslands that have never been broken for other uses.
Mississippi State University CRP Soil Carbon Assessment - Trees This project will monitor soil and biomass carbon to more accurately estimate the climate change benefits of trees planted under CRP.
US Geological Survey Evaluating CRP vegetation response subsequent to haying and grazing by means of mid-contract management and emergency use in drought-prone regions. This project will conduct direct pre- and post- management comparisons and site-to-site paired comparisons of CRP fields to evaluate the effects of haying and grazing on grassland vegetation quality and the pollinator community.
University of Minnesota CRP Habitat Quality Assessment This project will assess the effects of stand characteristics, landscape context, and vegetation management on the diversity and abundance of vegetation, pollinators, and grassland birds in CRP-enrolled lands.
University of Georgia Longleaf Pine Assessment This project will assess longleaf pine establishment, management, and benefits, including the impact of pine straw raking.
ARS Improved Establishment Techniques for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Pollinator Mixtures in Semi-Arid regions of the western US This project will use failed CRP plots to evaluate the potential of different field preparation and seeding rate treatments to reduce weed competition in arid and semi-arid CRP stands in the western US, as well as addressing region-specific problems with CRP establishment.
Colorado State University Design, Implement, and Support Erosion and Water Quality Model and Data Services for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Ranking Process This project will continue the development, tailoring, implementation, and maintenance of a family of soil erosion, water quality, carbon, and related modelling tools and data services that support CRP enrollment.
Ducks Unlimited Assessing the Climate Change Mitigation Potential of Wetland Restoration in the Conservation Reserve Program: Measurements, Modeling, and Scaling Changes in Soil Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Fluxes This project will study how CRP wetland restoration contributes to climate mitigation by measuring and modeling soil and vegetation carbon stocks and greenhouse gas fluxes in resstored CRP wetlands. The project was amended to allow for additional soil testing.
Michigan State University Integrating strategic sampling with an ensemble multi-model approach to quantify and scale soil carbon stocks and climate benefits in CRP This project will assess, monitor, model, and compare the climate benefits of CRP by developing an integrated system for soil sampling and modeling across spatial scales of soil organic carbon accrual and ecosystem services. The project was amended to add additional Grassland CRP sampling sites.
Montana State University Renovating exotic cool season grass plantings to functional CRP This project will develop technilogies to renovate CRP lands planted in exotic cool-season grasses into diverse native plantings that support livestock, wildlife, and/or pollinators and that reduce erosion and weed cover.
Monarch Joint Venture Conservation Landscape Evaluation and Observation Tool This project will refine software that uses drone-collected data to identify presence and estimate populations of milkweed on fields.
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies Effectiveness of Conservation Reserve Program Practices for Managing Grassland Bird and Pollinator Diversity in the Southern Great Plains This project will monitor florisitic responses to CRP practices and predict pollinator and bird outcomes at multiple spatial and temporal scales to prioritize conservation in the Southern Great Plains.
University of Northern Iowa/Tallgrass Prairie Center Native Seed Price and Availability This project will assess how to increase the availability and cost effectiveness of native seed mixes used by the Conservation Reserve Program.
University of Wyoming Research to Improve the Design and Delivery of Grassland Conservation Reserve Program for Working Lands in Ungulate Migration Corridors This project will use behavioral experiments to optimize the design and delivery of Grasslands CRP in ungulate migration corridors.
University of Nebraska Improving the Retention and Uptake of Tillable and Non-Tillable Grazing Land in the Conservation Reserve Program: A Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis of Economic and Environmental Factors This project will use field monitoring and interviews to learn from successful regenerative ranching operations and gauge the potential benefits of their incorporation into CRP.
Syracuse University How FSA CRP Program Managers Incorporate Science, Feasibility, and Acceptibility in Guidelines for Conserving Grassland Breeding Birds on CRP Lands The project will evaluate how Primary Nesting Season (PNS) is determined in representative states with significant CRP enrollments, how this affects management practices, and whether this is effective at conserving breeding grassland birds while meeting landowner goals and management needs.
University of Albany Assessing Plant Uptake of Per- and Polyflouroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in Soil Exposed to These Emerging Contaminants This project will assess whether perennial grass planted as part of CRP offer a solution for landowners with PFAS contaminated cropland.
Texas A&M University Quantitative assessments of water quality impacts of CRP CLEAR practices on US croplands under climate change This project will expand and refine previous assessment of the environmental effects of Clean Lakes, Esutaries, and Rivers (CLEAR) Initiative conservation practices, including accounting for changes due to climate change.
University of Georgia Identifying and Overcoming Barriers to Increase Participation of Underserved Landowners in the Conservation Reserve Program in the Black Belt of the Southern United States This project will use a mixed methods study to identify and overcome barriers to increase CRP participation of underserved landowners in the Southern United States.
Conservation Biology Institute A scalable Pilot Decision Support System or USDA CRP grasslands, seedling/seed and grazing tracking for WA, CO, KS, NE, and North Dakota This project will develop a suite of tools to collect and make available data on habitat quality, seed mix, and managements, and to explore CRP offer scenarios.
Mississippi State University CRP Menu- A Spatially-Explicit Decision Support Tool to Enhance Landowner Engagement in CRP Incentives Programs This project will design a decision support tool for producers to explore CRP offer scenarios, conduct conservation planning for their operation, and engage with technical service providers.
Intertribal Agriculture Council Monitoring, Assessment, and Evaluation of CRP/CREP Implementation on Tribal Lands This project will use Savory Institute's Ecological Outcome Verification approach to estimate outcomes of CREPs and CRP enrollment on Tribal lands.
USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Assessing phenology of grassland-nesting birds to inform timing of grassland management activities This project will improve the data used to inform PNS policy and help inform program managers when hacing to assess tradeoffs of habitat management versus productivity regarding various priority bird species across the Great Plains.
USDA Agricultural Research Service Development and maintenance of a suite of Soil Carbon geospatial data management and database tools using the USDA ARS ATO'd Partnerships for Data Innovation cloud infrastructure This project will develop, deploy, and maintain a suite of geospactial data management and database tools to support FPAC's soil carbon projects for CRP lands.
Iowa State University Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Erodibility Index (EI) Tool This project will verify and improve the effectiveness of the Erodibility Index (EI) portion of the CRP Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) by evaluating current and previous approaches.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln Hydrological Outcomes of the Conservation Reserve Program in Water-stressed High Plains Watersheds This project will work to quantify the hydrological impacts of CRP enrollment on surface water and groundwater in selected water-stressed watersheds in the High Plains.
USDA Climate Hubs Development of a Tool to Support Emergency Haying and Grazing Decisions on CRP Lands This project will develop a decision support tool that will use data from the US Drought Monitor to retreive weekly or biweekly data about forage biomass condition at the county or CRP parcel level.
Iowa State University Downstream Benefits of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) This project will develop, extend, and apply geospatial data and tools to identify priority locations for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) practices that offer downstream ecosystem service benefits to increase community-level resilience.
Kansas State University Wildfire Recovery Strategies and Cover Crops in Semi-Arid Crop Production Systems This project will develop conservation management strategies that could be used by land managers to speed recovery and restore soil health and row crop production in dryland croplands, particularly following wildfires.
Southeastern Grasslands Institute Grasslandia: A Decision Support Tool for Eastern Grasslands that will transform our understanding of grassland landscapes, biodiversity, and human connections This project will develop the Grasslandia Decision Support Tool, which will help deliver maps, data, conservation best management practices, and other information to stakeholder groups including landowners, land managers, agencies, nonprofits, and the public.
Texas A&M University Investigating climate smart grazing management on Conservation Reserve Program acres to improve soil and grassland health, and habitat for grassland birds in the Texas High Plains This project will study the impacts of grazing as a management tool on conservation (especially bird habitat) and climate change mitigation when applied using ecological principles of management.
Iowa State University Evaluating the environmental impacts of cattle grazing in Conservation Reserve Program fields in Iowa This project seeks to understand tradeoffs or benefits associated with cattle grazing in the CRP with a specific focus on breeding birds, plant communities, and soil health.
Virginia Tech Benefits and Impacts of Grazing on CRP This project seeks to set the stage for a future field-based study of the effects of haying, grazing, and silvopasture in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States.
Wichita State University Grazing Intensity Assessment This project will study how various grazing strategies impact the quality and integrity of plant communities; bird populations, community diversity, and nesting; changes to soil carbon; and quantifying stocking and grazing intensity. The project was amended to add an additional study treatment (interseeding) and to increase nesting bird survey capacity.
Montana State University Improving plant diversity and function on Conservation Reserve Program land in Montana This project will evaluate different approaches to establishment of CRP land with high plant species richness and functional diversity to provide the basis for improved pollinator and wildlife diversity as well as reduced soil erosion.
University of North Dakota Conservation Reserve Program Soil Health Assessment This project will characterize a variety of soil health metrics from sites currently enrolled in CRP and determine if there are ecological and/or economic benefits related to any soil health changes. This project was amended to increase the monitoring period for the 420 comparison sites from 4 years to 6 years.
USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center CRP Better With Age The project will sample high, medium, and low diversity conservation plantings across contract lifespans to assess establishment and longevity of species planted and pollinator use.
USDA Agricultural Research Service Estimating Soybean Pollination Services from CRP and other Conservation Lands Assessment Project This project will estimate and characterize the magnitude and capacity of wild bee pollination ecosystem services generated by CRP and other conservation lands.
USGS/FORT Influence of emergency haying and grazing on Conservation Reserve Program vegetation, grassland birds, and pollinators across a precipitation gradient This project will conduct site-to-site paired comparisons of disturbed (hayed or grazed) and non-disturbed CRP fields to evaluate impacts on grassland vegetation quality, habitat for threatened and endangered species, and grassland bird and pollinator populations.
University of Georgia Increasing the participation of beginning farmers and ranchers in the Conservation Reserve Program through integrated outreach and research in the Southern United States This project will work to define the role of current CRP enrollment in creating ecosystem services in the Southern US, as well as increasing the participation of new and beginning farmers in CRP through integrated research and outreach efforts.
Virginia Tech Listening to Longleaf Landowners: Responding to the Decline in Conservation Reserve Program Participation to Address Longleaf Pine Restoration This project will study the reasons landowners enroll in CRP for longlead restoration, the barriers to enrollment, and post-contract management practices, with a particular focus on historically underserved landowners.
Resources for the Future Economic Impact of CRP This project will use a variety of public and proprietary data sources to study CRP impacts on a range of economic outcomes across industries and geographic areas.
Texas A&M University Empowering Citizen Science via the Optimization of Financial Incentive Schemes and Technical Assistance to Improve Conservation Outcomes in the Conservation Reserve Program This project looks at the impact of behavioral incentives on promoting citizen science and optimal land management and maintenance practices among CRP participants.
Purdue University PFAS Mitigation Strategies in CRP Lands This project will evaluate if mixing environmentally friendly sorbents into field soils that have been contaminated by per- and polyfluoroalkyl subtances (PFAS) will decrease PFAS bioavailability and therefore PFAS contamination of plants and the environment.
USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center Downstream Benefits of the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) This project will help FSA improve the quality of CREP reporting to Congress. The project will also provide a review and recommendations to help improve the metrics used in the reporting process.
Micheal Fields Agriculture Institute Assessing Soil Health in USDA's Conservation Reserve Program This project will study the soil health benefits of CRP in the Driftless region of southwest Wisconsin and southeast Minnesota, including on parcels with expiring contracts.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln/USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service FSA/CRP contributions to Great Plains grassland conservation This project will evaluate key grassland outcomes of the CRP in the Great Plains that affect the durability and management of grassland CRP and its transition to working grasslands after contract expiration, with a focus on limiting woody plant encroachment.
Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever Pheasants Forever/Quail Forever Umbrella Agreeement This project will help FSA improve CRP program delivery with a focus on working lands for wildlife. The nine (9) topics included in the agreement are: 1) wildlife species of greatest conservation need, 2) big game corridors, 3) native seed strategy, 4) ecosystem benefits of keystone wildlife, 5) grazing infrastructure on CRP and enduring benefits, 6) Tribal Nation access, 7) improving the strategic investment of CRP resources to benefit culturally and economically important wildlife species, 8) alternative technical assistance, and 9) a literature review of the CRP.