USDA processing pending CRP offers; most 2018 offers suspended
USDA press release
The USDA announced On Oct. 6 that it will process many pending eligible offers for land enrollment in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), and it will temporarily suspend accepting most new offers until later in the 2018 fiscal year.
The CRP acreage cap is a provision of the 2014 Farm Bill. Current enrollment is about 23.5 million acres nationwide. USDA is accepting all pending continuous enrollment offers that were made beginning 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. USDA is suspending acceptance of all new CRP continuous offers received or submitted after Sept. 30.
The 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 which have been adjusted to reflect current market conditions and were established after review of the latest USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service cash rent data.
In return for enrolling in CRP, the USDA 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. Payment totals for 2017 were announced earlier this week totaling more than $1.6 billion.