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Apply for Continuous CRP anytime

By Ryan Castle

Date Modified: 10/10/2012 3:49 PM

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The Continuous CRP Program allows producers to enroll eligible highly environmentally sensitive land at any time, without waiting for a signup period or competing against other offers. USDA is offering financial incentives to landowners including signing bonuses and additional cost share for installing and maintaining conservation practices to protect more environmentally sensitive land (filter strips, farmed wetlands, waterways and contour buffers, etc). USDA, Farm Service Agency (FSA) will pay landowners an annual rental payment for 10 to 15 years for properly maintaining the conservation practice.

CRP Financial Incentives

The Signup Incentive Payment (SIP) is a one-time signing payment of $10 per acre for every full year the CRP contract covers (not to exceed 10-years). This amounts to $100 per acre at the start of the contract to help defray installation costs for filter strips, riparian buffers, grassed waterways, field windbreaks, shelterbelts, living snow fences, etc.

The Practice Incentive Payment (PIP) is an incentive payment of 40% of the eligible practice installation costs of most continuous CRP practices. This is in addition to the approximately 50% cost-share paid by USDA for establishing certain approved practices. Also, there is a maintenance payment for most practices.

Popular Continuous CRP Practices

Grass Waterways (CP8A) are designed to convey runoff from terraces, diversions, or other water concentrations without causing erosion or flooding and to improve water quality. Landowners may enroll up to twice the waterway design width not to exceed 100 feet.

Contour Buffer Strips (CP15A) are designed to establish strips of permanent vegetative cover generally following the contour on cropland alternated with wider cultivated strips farmed on the contour that will reduce erosion and control runoff. Contour buffer strips can be used as a tool to prevent erosion and runoff, yet they can provide operators with a permanent contour layout.

Grass Filter Strips (CP21) are designed to remove nutrients, sediment, organic matter, pesticides, and other pollutants from surface runoff and subsurface flow. CRP Filter Strips are generally installed near perennial and seasonal streams, sinkholes, permanent water bodies, drainage ditches, and wetlands. Standard filter strip widths range from 30 to 120 feet.

The Wetland Restoration Initiative (CP23) is designed to restore the functions and values of wetland ecosystems that have been devoted to agricultural use. This 500,000 acre initiative enrolls wetlands and buffers within the 100-year floodplain. These wetlands prevent degradation of the wetland area, increase sediment trapping efficiencies, improve water quality, prevent erosion and provide vital habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife.

The Wetland Restoration, Non-floodplain Initiative (CP23A) is designed to restore wetlands and playa lakes, which are shallow, depressional wetlands that are located outside the 100-year floodplain. This 250,000 acre initiative provides vital habitat for many wildlife species, filters runoff, recharges groundwater supplies and sequesters carbon.

The Duck Nesting Habitat Initiative (CP37) is designed to restore wetlands and wetland complexes that are located outside the 100-year floodplain that will benefit duck nesting. Restoration of 150,000 acres of such wetlands under this initiative will provide critical habitat and nesting cover for upland ducks, sandhill cranes and other wildlife species by filtering runoff, reducing downstream flooding, and recharging groundwater supplies. With full enrollment, it is estimated that the initiative will increase duck numbers by 60,000 birds annually.

The Bottomland Hardwood Initiative (CP31) is designed to restore flood plains through the restoration of primarily bottomland hardwoods. This 250,000 acre initiative improves air and water quality and provides carbon sequestration benefits through reduction of greenhouse gases as well as increasing wildlife habitat. Additional incentives are expected to increase enrollment in this initiative. Planting 250,000 acres of bottomland hardwoods would sequester over 500,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.

Offers are accepted on a continuous sign-up basis and are automatically accepted provided the acreage and producer meet certain eligibility requirements. Acceptance is not determined by a competitive offer process.

Producers are encouraged to contact their local USDA Service Center if they have any questions regarding the Continuous CRP Program.