USDA Partners with Farmers and Ranchers to Protect More Than 500,000 Acres of Working Grasslands

Nov. 30, 2016 – Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Deputy Under Secretary Alexis Taylor today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will accept more than 504,000 acres that were offered by producers during the recent ranking period for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Grasslands enrollment. Through the voluntary CRP Grasslands program, grasslands threatened by development or conversion to row crops are maintained as livestock grazing areas, while providing important conservation benefits.

USDA will accept more than 2,100 offers totaling more than 504,000 acres across 34 states. Over 70 percent of the acres are from beginning farmers, veterans and underserved producers. About two-thirds of the acres are in counties with the highest threat for conversion. Additionally, nearly 60 percent of the acres are in wildlife priority areas and nearly three-fourths of the acres will have a wildlife-focused conservation plan as part of the operation.

“This 15-year commitment on more than half a million acres demonstrates that voluntary, incentive-based conservation methods benefit producers and help to preserve our natural resources,” said Taylor. “Combining conservation and wildlife benefits, while still supporting livestock production, is a clear example of how agriculture and conservation can go hand-in-hand.”

Read the full news release from the USDA Farm Service Agency.

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