Producers and Landowners Can Now Sign Up for USDA’s Grassland Conservation Reserve Program

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that agricultural producers and private landowners can now sign up for the Grassland Conservation Reserve Program (Grassland CRP). The signup runs from today through June 28, 2024. Grassland CRP, offered
by USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), is a voluntary working lands conservation program that enables participants to conserve grasslands and provide important conservation benefits for wildlife, soil health and carbon sequestration, all while continuing most grazing and haying practices.

“Grassland CRP is a vital conservation tool that supports two of USDA’s top priorities: the wellbeing of American agriculture and the health of America’s grasslands, which provide critical environmental benefits for wildlife and carbon sequestration,” said Matt Russell, FSA State Executive Director in Iowa. “Over the past three years, we have seen historic interest in the Grassland Conservation Reserve
Program with producers signing up to conserve over 6.8 million acres. This historic interest from agriculture has proven that agricultural productivity and conservation priorities are not exclusive from one another, but can coexist and, more importantly, complement and enhance one another.”

More than 2.3 million acres from agricultural producers and private landowners were accepted through the 2023 Grassland CRP signup. That signup reflects the continued success and value of investments in voluntary, producer-led, working lands conservation programs. The current total participation in Grassland CRP is 8.64 million acres, which is part of the 24.8 million acres enrolled in CRP opportunities overall.

On Nov. 16, 2023, President Biden signed into law H.R. 6363, the Further Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act, 2024 (Pub. L. 118-22), which generally extended the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Pub. L. 115-334), more commonly known as the 2018 Farm Bill, through Sept. 30, 2024. This extension allows authorized programs, including CRP, to continue operating.

Landowners and producers interested in CRP should contact their local USDA Service Center to learn more or to apply for the program before the June 28 deadline.

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