Press release submitted
The Indiana Department of Agriculture is reminding growers and landowners that the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) registration deadline is July 23.
The USDA Farm Service Agency has made several changes to the conservation reserve program to make it more beneficial for all growers, including those in financial difficulty, beginning farmers, and veterans. The FSA added incentives to encourage producers to include climate-smart farming practices in their operations to increase natural resources and environmental benefits.
The USDA’s goal is to enroll up to 4 million new CRP acres by increasing payment rates and expanding the incentives offered under the program. The CRP is capped at 25 million acres for fiscal 2021 and currently 20.7 million acres are listed, but the cap will gradually increase to 27 million acres by fiscal 2023. To help grow interest and registration of producers, the FSA has:
∙ aadjusted land rental rates. This allows additional flexibility for fare adjustments, including a possible fare increase where applicable.
∙ Iincrease in payments for practice incentives from 20% to 50%. This incentive for continued CRP practices is based on the establishment cost and is in addition to cost-sharing payments.
∙ Iincreased payments for water quality practices. The incentive has been increased from 10% to 20% for certain water quality practices available through continuous CRP registration, such as grassed waterways, riparian buffers and filter strips.
In addition, to mitigate climate change, the FSA has introduced a new Incentive for smart climate practices for the general, grasslands and continuous inscriptions that aim to increase carbon sequestration and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Climate-smart CRP practices include establishing permanent trees and grasses, developing wildlife habitats, and restoring wetlands. The amount of the Climate Smart Practice Incentive is based on the benefits of each type of practice.
CRP is one of the largest voluntary conservation programs in the world with a long history of topsoil preservation, water quality improvement, carbon sequestration, reduction of nitrogen runoff and the preservation of healthy wildlife habitat. His program successes include:
- vscreating over 3 million acres of restored wetlands, while protecting over 175,000 miles of streams with riparian forests and grass buffers, enough to circle the globe seven times .
- benefiting bees and other pollinators and growing populations of ducks, pheasants, turkeys, bobwhite quail, prairie chickens, grasshopper sparrows and many other birds.
Interested growers should contact their local USDA Services Center. To find their local FSA county office, producers can visit farms.gov/service-center-locator.