USDA temporarily suspends new offers for CRP enrollment
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that, effective immediately, it will temporarily suspend new offers for enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) until later in the 2018 fiscal year, the USDA said in a new release.
In the release, the USDA said it “will process many pending eligible offers for land enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).”
“All current, eligible CRP continuous enrollment offers made through Sept. 30 – except for those made under the Pollinator Habitat Initiative – will be approved,” said Steven J. Peterson, Acting Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator. “Additionally, we are temporarily suspending acceptance of most offers going forward to provide time to review CRP allocation levels, and to avoid exceeding the statutory cap of 24 million acres.”
According to the release:
- The CRP acreage cap is a provision of the 2014 Farm Bill.
- Current enrollment is about 23.5 million acres nationwide.
- The USDA is accepting all pending continuous enrollment offers that were made beginning on May 4 and extending through Sept. 30, except Pollinator Habitat Initiative offers.
- Pollinator acreage offers are being declined because the program has met its acreage enrollment goal.
- Effective immediately, USDA is suspending acceptance of all new CRP continuous offers received or submitted after Sept. 30. The suspension will continue until later in the 2018 fiscal year.
Peterson said, however, that USDA will continue to accept eligible offers for state-specific Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and CRP Grasslands enrollment. Offers received on or after Oct. 1 are subject to fiscal year 2018 rental rates that have been adjusted to reflect current market conditions and were established after careful review of the latest USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service cash rent data, according to the release.
In return for enrolling in CRP, the USDA, through FSA, provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance. Landowners enter into contracts that last between 10 and 15 years. CRP pays farmers and ranchers who remove sensitive lands from production and plant certain grasses, shrubs and trees that improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and increase wildlife habitat, the release said, adding that payment totals for 2017 were announced recently totaling over $1.6 billion.