CONSERVATION RESERVE PROGRAM
Signup runs through May 13, 2022
Landowners and agricultural producers have an opportunity to receive long-term financial support for land stewardship under the Grassland Conservation Reserve Program (GCRP). While the program may not be right for everyone, it can be a great opportunity for those looking to manage their rangeland and pastureland for conservation while keeping that land in compatible agricultural production.
WHY SHOULD I CARE?
Grassland CRP is a win for landowners and wildlife.
What is the Grassland Conservation Reserve Program?
GCRP is a federally funded working lands program managed by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). Under the 2018 Farm Bill, several changes were made to the program that can benefit western landowners, ranchers and producers, including expanded eligibility for land that supports wildlife migration and/or conservation of at-risk and Endangered Species Act listed species.
How does the program work?
In exchange for entering into a contract with the FSA for either 10 or 15 years, which includes the development of a conservation plan with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), landowners receive annual payments and cost-share assistance. This payment rate varies by county, but will start at a minimum of $13 per acre.
An important distinction between GCRP and the general Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is that under GCRP landowners are still allowed to graze, hay and produce seed on their land. Learn more about ranking factors and eligibility under the program here.
How to apply
Interested and willing landowners are encouraged to contact their County FSA office prior to May 13, 2022 to apply for the program.
FSA and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff will assist in developing the application and ranking factors. The application will then be evaluated against other applications. If selected, the landowner will work with NRCS and FSA staff to develop and implement a conservation plan and a 10 year or 15 year agreement with the FSA and NRCS.
Contact your County FSA office
Find your County Office contact info on this map by clicking on your state: https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app
WLA is working with the USDA and Congress to address these issues and ensure that conservation programs work for landowners, not the other way around. The USDA is listening. Join WLA to ensure your voice is heard.
Join GCRP Program Director Joy Alspach at our Landowner Information Webinar April 20th.
The 2022 signup period closes May 13th. Learn more now by joining this online event.
What Landowners Need to Know
Consider these things before enrolling:
- Land with greater than 5% tree canopy is not eligible.
- There is no limit to acreage that can be offered, but participants cannot receive more than $50,000 annually. At the minimum rate, this creates a functional acreage cap of 3846 acres.
- Enrolled acres must be maintained according to an NRCS conservation plan and protected from conversion.
- Participants must control noxious weeds.
- Land under contract for EQIP, CSP or EQIP-CIC is not eligible for GCRP
- Participants who wish to qualify for the small-scale livestock operation category and receive additional ranking points are limited to 200 acres and 140 animal units per farm.
What is New in 2022
- $13 minimum payment rate
- Grassland priority zones have been updated. Being located in one conveys an additional $5 per acre payment and increases ranking priority