The United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency has begun to accept applications starting June 3 for certain practices under the continuous Conservation Reserve Program signup and will offer extensions for expiring CRP contracts. The 2018 farm bill reauthorized CRP, one of the country’s largest conservation programs.
    FSA stopped accepting applications last fall for the continuous CRP signup when 2014 farm bill authority expired. Since passage of the 2018 farm bill last December, FSA has carefully analyzed the language and determined a limited signup prioritizing water-quality practices furthers conservation goals and makes sense for producers as FSA works to fully implement the program.
    This year’s signup will include such practices as grassed waterways, filter strips, riparian buffers, wetland restoration and others.
    Continuous signup enrollment contracts are 10 to 15 years in duration. Soil rental rates will be set at 90% of the existing rates. Incentive payments will not be offered for these contracts.
    FSA will also reopen signup for existing Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program agreements. Fact sheets on current CREP agreements are available at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/crp.
    FSA will open a CRP general signup in December and a CRP grasslands signup later.
    A one-year extension will be offered to existing CRP participants who have expiring CRP contracts of 14 years or less. Producers eligible for an extension will receive a letter describing their options.
    Alternatively, producers with expiring contracts may have the option to enroll in the Transition Incentives Program, which provides two additional annual rental payments on the condition the land is sold or rented to a beginning farmer or rancher or a member of a socially disadvantaged group.
    Producers interested in applying for continuous CRP practices, including those under existing CREP agreements, or who need an extension, should contact their USDA service center beginning June 3. To locate you’re a FSA office, visit http://www.farmers.gov. More information on CRP can be found at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/crp.
    Farm Service Agency is an Equal Opportunity Lender. Complaints about discrimination should be sent to: Secretary of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250. Visit the Farm Service Agency Web site at: www.fsa.usda.gov/ for necessary application forms and updates on USDA programs.