USDA Announces More Than 1.2 Million Acres Accepted in Recent Signup for Conservation Reserve Program Grasslands

LINCOLN, Neb., July 10, 2020 – The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced the acceptance of more than 1.2 million acres in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Grasslands during the recent signup period that began March 16 and ended May 15. The number of acres offered during this signup period was 1.9 million acres, over 3 times the number offered during the last signup period in 2016. In Nebraska, 298,890 acres were accepted into the program.

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USDA Announces More Than 1.2 Million Acres Accepted in Recent Signup for Conservation Reserve Program Grasslands

LINCOLN, Neb., July 10, 2020 – The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) today announced the acceptance of more than 1.2 million acres in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Grasslands during the recent signup period that began March 16 and ended May 15. The number of acres offered during this signup period was 1.9 million acres, over 3 times the number offered during the last signup period in 2016. In Nebraska, 298,890 acres were accepted into the program.

Through CRP Grasslands, farmers and ranchers can protect grasslands, rangelands and pastures while retaining the right to conduct common grazing practices, produce hay and do other management practices on the enrolled land. Timing of some activities may be restricted by the primary nesting season of birds.

“This large and unprecedented national enrollment is a reflection of the popularity and importance of CRP Grasslands,” said Nebraska FSA State Executive Director Nancy Johner. “The program emphasizes support for grazing operations and plant and animal biodiversity, while protecting land under the greatest threat of conversion or development.”

Participants will receive an annual rental payment. The duration of the CRP contract is 10 or 15 years. FSA ranked offers using a number of factors, including existence of expiring CRP land, threat of conversion or development, existing grassland and predominance of native species cover and cost.

The 2018 Farm Bill set aside not fewer than 2 million acres for CRP Grassland enrollment. On Oct. 1, 2020, grassland enrollment is expected to be 2.1 million acres. CRP is one of the largest conservation programs at USDA. CRP marks its 35-year anniversary in 2020 with 21.9 million acres currently enrolled.

For more information on CRP Grasslands, contact your local FSA county office or visit fsa.usda.gov/crp. To locate your local FSA office, visit farmers.gov/service-locator. All USDA Service Centers are open for business, including some that are open to visitors to conduct business in person by appointment only. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service or any other Service Center agency should call ahead and schedule an appointment. Service Centers that are open for appointments will pre-screen visitors based on health concerns or recent travel, and visitors must adhere to social distancing guidelines. Visitors may also be required to wear a face covering during their appointment. Field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. Our program delivery staff will be in the office, and they will be working with our producers in office, by phone and using online tools. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

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