NRCS Announces Funding for Grassland Reserve Program
Cutoff Date for Applications is Feb. 3, 2012
Little Rock, AR, Jan. 12, 2012 — Mike Sullivan, state conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Arkansas, and Linda Newkirk, state executive director for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Arkansas, announced $639,415 is available to Arkansas landowners through the Grassland Reserve Program (GRP). Although applications may be taken at any time, only those applications submitted by Feb. 3, 2012, will be evaluated and ranked for funding for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 program.
GRP was reauthorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (2008 Farm Bill). NRCS provides technical assistance for GRP.
“GRP offers a way for ranchers and farmers -- the backbone of our economy -- to ensure this unique natural resource remains a healthy and viable part of Arkansas for years to come," Sullivan said.
GRP is a voluntary program offering landowners the opportunity to protect, restore, and enhance grasslands on their property through permanent easements or rental contracts (10-, 15-, or 20-year). For the FY 2012 program, priority will be given to enrolling land in easements.
The program emphasizes preservation of native and natural grasslands and scrublands that support grazing operations, plant and animal biodiversity; and protection of grassland that is under multiple threats of conversion to other land uses.
Land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is also eligible for enrollment in GRP.
"I encourage producers interested in preserving their grasslands to stop by a USDA Service Center and visit with the NRCS or FSA staff to learn more about the program," Sullivan said.
For more information about GRP, please contact your local USDA Service Center, listed in the telephone book under U.S. Department of Agriculture, or your local conservation district. Information is also available at www.ar.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/grp.html.