The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a land conservation program administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). In exchange for a yearly rental payment, farmers enrolled in the program agree to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and plant species that will improve environmental health and quality. Contracts for land enrolled in CRP are 10-15 years in length. The long-term goal of the program is to re-establish valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, reduce salinity, and reduce loss of wildlife habitat.
Eligibility: To be eligible for CRP enrollment, a farmer must have owned or operated the land for at least 12 months prior to the previous CRP sign-up period. Exceptions to this rule include:
- Land acquired by the new owner due to the previous owner’s death;
- Change in ownership due to foreclosure; or
- Land that was purchased by the new owner without the sole intention of placing it in CRP.
Land Eligibility: To be eligible for placement in CRP, land must either be Cropland (including field margins) that is planted to an agricultural commodity 4 of the previous 6 crop years, and which is physically and legally capable of being planted in a normal manner to an agricultural commodity; or certain marginal pastureland that is suitable for use as a riparian buffer or for similar water quality purposes.
The land must be eligible and suitable for any of the following purposes:
- Buffers for wildlife habitat
- Wetlands buffer
- Riparian buffer
- Wetland restoration
- Filter strips
- Grass waterway
- Shelter belt
- Living snow fences
- Contour grass strips
- Salt tolerant vegetation
- Shallow water areas for wildlife
How Do I Enroll?
Participants can enroll in CRP in two ways. The first is through a competitive process known as CRP General Sign-up. General CRP sign-ups are announced on a periodic basis by the Secretary of Agriculture; they do not occur according to any fixed schedule. The second way to enroll is through CRP Continuous Sign-up which offers on a continuous basis. All enrollment offers are processed through your local FSA office.
Applicants must complete and file all application and eligibility paperwork as required. Applicants approved for funding must sign a CRP contract and implement the planned conservation practices to NRCS standards and specifications as scheduled. Starting a conservation practice in an CRP contract before final written contract approval renders that practice ineligible for CRP assistance unless NRCS granted a written waiver.
Any eligible agricultural producer can …
- Clermont/Brown Counties: District Conservationist 513.732.2191 ext 102
- Highland County: Resource Conservationist 937.393.1922
- Clinton County: District Conservationist 937.382.2461
- Assistant State Conservationist for Natural Resources 644.255.2502
Agency: USDA Farm Service Agency