Sign-up for Minnesota farmers and landowners is open for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Grassland program through Aug. 20.
USDA updated sign-up options this year to provide greater incentives for producers and increased 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. USDA’s Farm Service Agency will provide for annual rental payments for land devoted to conservation purposes.
“USDA is excited to roll out our new and improved CRP Grassland signup,” says Michelle Page, acting state FSA executive director. “USDA is providing a bigger return on investment in terms of protecting natural resource benefits. The Grassland sign-up is just one of the many tools available through CRP to help protect our nation’s working lands.”
CRP Grassland helps landowners and operators protect grassland, including rangeland, pastureland and certain other lands, while maintaining the areas as working grazing lands. Protecting grassland 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 Grassland sign-up to establish a minimum rental rate of $15 per acre, which will benefit 1,300 counties across the U.S.
To enroll in the CRP Grassland signup, contact your local USDA office by Aug. 20. USDA 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 Service Center to set up an in-person or phone appointment. Additionally, more information related to USDA’s response and relief for producers can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.
Signed into law in 1985, CRP is one of the largest voluntary, private-land conservation programs in the U.S. It was originally intended primarily to control soil erosion and potentially stabilize commodity prices by taking marginal lands out of production. The program has evolved over the years, providing many conservation and economic benefits. CRP marked its 35-year anniversary this past December.