Skip

Grassland Reserve Program 2010 Archived

Grassland Reserve Program (GRP)

March 12, 2010, was the last day to sign up to receive consideration for funding in FY 2010

The Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) administered by the USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA), is accepting applications for current funding. The purpose of GRP is to assist landowners protect grazing lands by conserving grassland resources on eligible private lands. Applications will be taken on Form AD-1153 by either FSA or NRCS. Applicants have two types of enrollment options: easement or rental contract. Easements will be for a permanent duration whereas rental contracts will be for 10, 15, or 20 year lengths. Landowners must submit applications on or before March 12, 2010 to receive consideration for funding in fiscal year 2010.

Eligible land includes:

  • Grassland for which grazing is the predominant use, or
  • CRP acreage expiring in 2009 (eligible ONLY for easement or 20-year rental contracts)

For easement applications, participants must own the eligible acreage and meet conservation and AGI requirements set forth by the USDA. GRP funding is limited for easement purchases. It is expected there will only be enough funds for 1-2 easement contracts. As a result, easement applications will be screened (see attached 2010 GRP Easement Application Screening Worksheet) prior to ranking. Only HIGH priority applications will be ranked. MEDIUM priority applications will only be ranked if funds are available.

Easement compensation is for the fair market value of the land less the grazing value.  GRP Geographic Area Rate Caps (GARC) have been determined for each county in AR (see AR GRP GARC document) by reducing each county’s Market Analysis by the state grazing value ($800).  Landowner offers less than the GRP GARC will also be considered for easement compensation.

For rental contracts, participants must own the eligible acreage or have control of the eligible acreage for the life of the contract and meet conservation and AGI requirements set forth by the USDA. At this time, GRP rental rates have been released by FSA. NRCS personnel should inform landowners of GRP rental rates. See 2010 GRP rental rates.

For both easement and rental contracts, a grazing management plan will be needed prior to contracting. The plan will outline guidance on conducting the following activities: common grazing practices, fencing, watering, feeding livestock, haying, or mowing. However, the following activities are prohibited: production of crops, fruit trees, vineyards or other agricultural commodities inconsistent with maintaining grazing land.

The priority of GRP on a state level is to protect grazing lands with significant threats to conversion to non-agricultural uses. Based on 2007 Ag Census and US Census Bureau data, High and Medium Priority counties were identified in Arkansas.

High Priority counties meet both following criteria: Population Growth greater than 8.02% and Farm Land Decrease greater than 10.2%. High Priority counties include Benton, Boone, Craighead, Crawford, Benton, Boone, Faulkner, Johnson, Lonoke, Saline, Van Buren and Washington.

Medium Priority counties meet one of the following criteria: Population Growth greater than 8.02% or Farm Land Decrease greater than 10.2%. Medium Priority counties include Clark, Cleveland, Franklin, Fulton, Independence, Logan, Pulaski, Sebastian, Scott, Stone, and Van Buren.

Individual parcels will be ranked and the highest quality parcels for which AR-NRCS has funding will be selected. Eligible applications will be ranked using two different criteria based on the application type: easement or rental contract. (See attached GRP Easement Ranking and 2010 Rental Contract Ranking). Selection of parcels will take place after the March 12, 2010 application deadline.

Practice List and Payment Rates

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat.

Additional Information

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat.

Contact

Kenneth J. Lee
Assistant State Conservationist (Programs)
(501) 301-3165

Dennis Mobley
Resource Conservationist -- GRP Coordinator
(501)301-3164