From the Farm Service Agency
Sign-ups are going on now through Aug. 23, 2019, for the following options under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP):
- Contracts set to expire this fall, except for Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), can be extended one year to Sept. 30, 2020, provided the contract will be 14 years old or less on Sept. 30, 2019. The current contract’s provision will remain in effect, including the current payment rate.
- Continuous CRP (CCRP) contracts set to expire this fall can be re-enrolled in a new contract taking effect Oct. 1, 2019. This option is limited to contour grass strips, grass filter strips, riparian buffers, wetland restoration and pasture land wetland buffers. Sign-up incentives, rental rate incentives and enhanced cost sharing above 50 percent will not be available on contracts offered under this provision.
- New land, not currently in CRP, can be offered for the CCRP practices listed above. These offers would be eligible for rental and cost share payments. Like re-enrolled offers above, these offers would not be eligible for any of the sign-up, cost share or rental incentives.
- General CRP contracts expiring this fall can be enrolled in the Transition Incentive Program (TIP) if the land will be leased or sold to a beginning farmer or rancher, a limited resource producer or socially disadvantaged producer. Under TIP, the land can be returned to production in 2020 in accordance with a Natural Resources Conservation Service plan, but the current contract participants will receive annual rental payments, equal to the current CRP payments, for two additional years. The beginning farmer or rancher, a limited resource producer or socially disadvantaged producer who buys or leases the land cannot be an immediate family member of the CRP participants, such as a child or grandchild. The TIP application must be initiated before a sales agreement or lease is agreed upon.
- CREP contracts set to expire this fall can be offered for re-enrollment in a new contract. Normal payments, including enhanced rental rates, signup incentives and 100 percent cost sharing on eligible costs, continue to be available. Rental rates may be less than the rate on the current contract. Your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office can determine the exact rate for your land. CREP contracts are not eligible for the one-year extensions discussed in the first bullet above.
- New land not currently in CREP can be offered under the same provision as re-enrolling CREP land.
Offers to enroll in any of these options must be completed and signed by at least one producer by Aug. 23 to be eligible. Eligibility determinations will need to be made on the land before an offer can be signed. Contact your local FSA office about your CRP sign-up options to ensure determinations can be made and a signed offered submitted by the Aug. 23, 2019, deadline.
After the deadline, no CRP offers will be accepted until the regulations from the 2018 Farm Bill are implemented. More details on CRP implementation under the new Farm Bill are expected to be available later in the year.
Although the final decision is contingent on implementation of the CRP regulations resulting from the 2018 Farm Bill, the Secretary has indicated a general CRP signup will be held this winter, likely starting around Dec. 1, 2019, and running into early 2020. Details will be announced as they become available.