FSA Administrator: adjustments to CRP continue to improve participation
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting more than one million acres in this year’s Conservation Reserve Program General signup.
Farm Service Agency Administrator Zach Ducheneaux says the organization is pleased to see continued interest in the voluntary, incentive-based program.
“It really helps producers have another economical opportunity on their operation and, in many cases, an alternative to trying to squeeze last iota of production of environmentally sensitive land or lands, for example, that would be better as a riparian area or a vegetative stand.”
He tells Brownfield adjustments made to the program have improved participation.
“I think it’s a clear indicator that producers are engaged and supportive in the work that we’re doing around climate smart agriculture and overall efforts to improve soil health,” he says. “The adjustments that we’ve made to improve participation continue to resonate with producers. This enrollment continues to demonstrate the support in the countryside for the efforts we engaged in in 2021.”
He says USDA’s Farm Service Agency is aiming to reach the 27-million-acre cap set by Congress in the 2018 Farm Bill in 2023.
“We see that as a target and we’re hopeful to get to that target this year with our continuous CRP signup in addition to the acres we’ll take in with the General CRP and Grassland CRP signups,” he says. “We’ll continue to leverage the opportunity to get these lands into some conservation benefits and provide that alternative income stream for producers.”
Offers for new land in this General CRP signup totaled about 295,000 acres nationwide. Producers submitted re-enrollment offers for 891,000 expiring acres. Additionally, FSA received 761,000 offered acres for the Continuous CRP signup, for which FSA accepts applications year-round.
The number of accepted acres that are enrolled in General CRP will be confirmed later this year. The agency says participating producers and landowners should remember that submitting and accepting a CRP offer is the first step, and producers still need to develop a conservation plan before contracts become effective on October 1.
The General Conservation Reserve Program signup ran through April 7 and Grassland CRP signup ended May 26. Ducheneaux says there will be an announcement in the coming weeks about accepted acres in the Grassland CRP.
Visit Farmers.gov for more information.
Audio: Zach Ducheneaux