Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is now accepting offers for enrollment for 3.1 million acres in the Conservation Reserve Program. This enrollment is part of the Biden-Harris administration’s effort to address climate change and protect natural resources. This year’s program’s enrollment is the highest in the program’s history.
Agricultural producers and private land owners can continue to use land for grazing and haying while slating the areas for conservation practices. The programs assists with grassland protection, while promoting biodiverstiy in plants and animals. CRP also assists with addressing land areas that are vulnerable to wind erosion.
Specific areas are outlined by the FSA by National Priority Zones establishedin 2021. These include the Greater Yellostone Migration Corridor and the Dust Bowl Zone. This year’s signup includes a Greater Yellostone Wildlife Migration Corridor Priority Zone that has been set aside to help protect big-game migration corridors for elk, mule deer, and antelope. The new Greater Yellostone corridor includes seven additional counties in Utah, Montana, and Wyoming.
“This year’s record-breaking Grassland CRP signup demonstrates the continued success and value of investments in voluntary, producer-led, working lands conservation programs,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said. “Grassland CRP clearly demonstrates, time and time again, that conservation priorities and agricultural productivity not only have the capacity to coexist but also complement and enhance one another. Through all our working land conservation programs, farmers and ranchers play a critical role in helping secure the future of both our food production and our natural resources.”
Last year’s Grassland CRP program signed up 2.5 million acres. The top CRP enrolling states are Colorado with 642,000 acres, South Dakota with 425,000 acres, and Nebraska with 422,000 acres. Producers in underserved populations and communities may quality for the the Justice40 programs and the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program.
CRP Enrollment Periods
The General CRP signup ran from Jan. 31, 2022 to March 11, 2022. More than 2 million acres were accepted.
The Grassland CRP signup runs from April 4, 2022 to May 13, 2022. The signup for CLEAR30 runs from April 1 to August 5, 2022.