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Do Farmstead Windbreaks Qualify For CRP?

Do Farmstead Windbreaks Qualify For CRP?

Landowners enrolling in CRP plant long-term, resource preserving covers on the land in exchange for annual rental payments, cost share and tech assistance. If you plant trees for windbreaks, does it qualify for annual CRP payment and cost-share?

FAQ: I want to plant a windbreak around our farmstead-- house, barns and machine shed. Will USDA reimburse me for purchasing trees and planting them if I put the land in CRP? I also want to plant trees as a living snow fence next to the long driveway leading to our farmstead. Will that windbreak qualify for CRP?

Answer: Provided by Vickie Friedow, conservation program specialist, Farm Service Agency state office in Des Moines.

We are often asked: "If I plant trees for windbreaks, does that qualify for annual CRP payment? Or, qualify for cost-share to purchase and plant the trees?"

USDA has a variety of continuous CRP practices that can be applied to eligible cropland to accomplish a number of goals on a farmstead. Let's break these down to determine which tree planting practice best meets the needs of the farm. Field windbreaks are established to reduce cropland erosion and also to enhance wildlife habitat. Shelterbelt practices are established to protect farmsteads or livestock areas against serious wind and to save energy. While a living snow fence practice is established to protect lanes, roads, railroads and other public facilities from drifting snow.

Here's an example of how this is calculated

Like land offered into the general CRP sign ups, USDA makes an annual rental payment on the acres enrolled in these continuous CRP practices. These continuous practices are also eligible for a one time Sign-up Incentive Payment or SIP, which is calculated by multiplying $10 by the number of acres enrolled and then multiplying the number of full years of the contract not to exceed 10 years. Cost share is paid on the trees and shrubs when used to establish these practices. A PIP or Practice Incentive Payment is also made on these practices, giving an additional reimbursement towards the cost of establishing these practices.

CRP provides conservation practices that preserve soil, help protect and clean the water and restore wildlife habitat. Landowners enrolling in CRP plant long-term, resource-conserving covers on the land in exchange for annual rental payments, cost-share and technical assistance. Participants voluntarily remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production by entering into CRP contracts for 10 to 15 years.

If you have specific questions or need details regarding USDA farm programs, contact your local USDA Farm Service Agency office. You can also get news and information about DCP, ACRE and other USDA programs at

Two Iowa State University Extension Web sites have farm program information and analysis. They are ISU's Ag Decision Maker site at and ISU Extension Specialist Steve Johnson's site at

And be sure to read the regular column "Frequently Asked Questions about the Farm Program" that appears in each issue of Wallaces Farmer magazine and at

TAGS: Extension
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