Guest Opinion: Enroll in Conservation Reserve Programs by Aug. 23

Published 10:59 pm Tuesday, August 20, 2019

By Anna Johnson

Farmers and ranchers with expiring contracts with the Conservation Reserve Program, or who are interested in enrolling land in the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CCRP) should take note of an upcoming deadline. The U.S. Department of Agriculture – Farm Service Agency has announced the deadline to enroll in either the Conservation Reserve Program – Transition Incentive Program (CRP-TIP) or CCRP is set for Aug. 23, 2019.

CRP-TIP is a farm bill program that seeks to support landowners and new farmers at the same time. Landowners with CRP contracts expiring this year are eligible to enroll in CRP-TIP and receive two additional years worth of payments. To enroll, they must rent or sell the land exiting CRP to a beginning, socially-disadvantaged or veteran farmer or rancher. That farmer or rancher in turn must have a conservation plan in place for the land. CRP-TIP offers new farmers and ranchers a path to access land, and supports landowners in offering it.

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CCRP offers landowners rental payments and cost-share assistance to install conservation practices such as conservation buffers or wildlife habitat on environmentally sensitive and eligible crop or pasture land.

Usually there is no annual deadline to enroll in CRP-TIP, but deadlines are set for both CRP-TIP and CCRP in 2019 to allow for farm bill required changes to the parent program, the Conservation Reserve Program, to be made in the fall.

To learn more about the CRP-TIP or CCRP, call or visit your local Farm Service Agency office today.

Anna Johnson is a policy manager with the Center for Rural Affairs.