Grasslands program sign-up deadline approaching

Agricultural producers and landowners can apply for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Grasslands sign-up until Aug. 20, 2021.

This year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) updated sign-up options to provide greater incentives for producers and increase the program’s conservation and climate benefits, including setting a minimum rental rate and identifying two national priority zones.

The CRP Grassland sign-up is competitive, and USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will provide for annual rental payments for land devoted to conservation purposes.

“We are excited to roll out our new and improved CRP Grasslands sign-up,” said FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “Bottom line, CRP now makes more financial sense for producers while also providing a bigger return on investment in terms of natural resource benefits. The Grasslands sign-up is part of a broader suite of tools available through CRP to integrate key conservation practices on our nation’s working lands.”

CRP Grasslands helps landowners and operators protect grassland, including rangeland, and pastureland and certain other lands, while maintaining the areas as working grazing lands. Protecting grasslands contributes positively to the economy of many regions, provides biodiversity of plant and animal populations and provides important carbon sequestration benefits. FSA has updated the Grasslands sign-up to establish a minimum rental rate of $15 per acre, which will benefit 1,300 counties.

To enroll in the CRP Grasslands sign-up, producers and landowners should contact USDA by the Aug. 20 deadline. Service center staff continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email and other digital tools. Because of the pandemic, some USDA service centers are open to limited visitors. Contact your local service center to set up an in-person or phone appointment. For more information, visit fsa.usda.gov/programs-and-services/conservation-programs/index.