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Programs Farmland Protection

 Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program

Program contact: Paul Petrichenko, Assistant State Conservationist - Programs

Phone: (302)-678-4180
FAX: (302) 678-0843

The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 reauthorized the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP).   The FRPP provides matching funds to help purchase development rights to keep productive farm and ranchland in agricultural uses. Working through existing programs, USDA partners with State, tribal, or local governments and non-governmental organizations to acquire conservation easements or other interests in land from landowners. USDA provides up to 50 percent of the fair market easement value of the conservation easement.

General Information About the FRPP Program 

Eligible landowners must complete an NRCS-CPA-1200 and certify that they do not exceed the Adjusted Gross Income limitation eligibility requirements and are in compliance with Wetland Conservation and Highly Erodible Land provisions of the Farm Bill before the cooperative agreement is signed.  Contact the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the NRCS office for additional assistance as needed. 

ALL entities with who sign cooperative agreements for FRPP funds are required to obtain a Data Universal System Number (DUNS). A DUNS number is a unique nine-character identification number provided by the commercial company Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) You may request one through the D&B DUNS special toll-free number for Federal award applicants: 1 (866) 705-5711.  Applicants can also register for a DUNS number through D&B's Web site at http://www.dnb.com/.

Up to 67% of the offered easement area to be in forestland, however, forestland greater than 10% of the easement area must have a forest management plan.  The forest management plan will be prepared by a professional forester. 

FRPP can contribute no more than 50% of appraised fair market value (AFMV), the cooperating entity must contribute the balance of the cost.  A cooperating entity may use a landowner donation as part of their contribution, however, the cooperating entity must pay a minimum of 25% of the purchase price (AFMV minus landowner donation). 

The  FRPP program allows a 2% impervious surface limit.  A waiver must be requested and granted to exceed 2% but cannot exceed 10% under any circumstances.  Such waiver requests would be included in the application package.   A waiver request would include a detailed account of the impervious surfaces and their respective uses/value to the parcel in order to justify exceeding 2%.

NRCS staff will rank all applications and determine which ones will be funded.

The cooperating entity is responsible for the appraisal, survey, and title search.

Easements will be held by the cooperating entity only.  The United States will not pay or hold title insurance on deeds beginning with 2010 cooperative agreements.

The 2008 Farm Bill rule will allow deeds to have a ‘Right of Enforcement’ clause.  The United States no longer has the right to assume ownership of the easement if the entity does not enforce the provisions of the conservation easement deed.

The 2008 Farm Bill and Rule allows cooperating entities to choose a standard on which to base compensation.  Appraisals may be either USPAP or UASFLA (Yellow Book).

A hazardous materials records search and field visits are conducted on each parcel. Each landowner is interviewed by NRCS staff to clarify FRPP policy on the funding requirements and easement acquisition process.

Eligibility

To qualify the parcel must:

Be privately owned land.

Contain at least 50 percent of prime, unique, statewide, or locally important soils OR

Contain historic of archeological sites that are:

Consensus determined by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO),

or Formally nominated to the national register AND

Be part of a pending offer from a state or local government, or a non-governmental organization (NGO) agricultural land protection program.

Have a conservation plan on Highly Erodible Land (HEL) acres.

Contain sufficient acres to sustain agriculture production.

Include eligible lands such as cropland, grassland, pastureland, and forest land that are part of the agriculture operation.

Involve landowners who do not exceed the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI), Highly Erodible Land (HEL), or Wetland Conservation (WC) provisions.

Application Process

Delaware NRCS will accept applications for the 2013 FRPP program at any time.

Under FRPP, NRCS solicits applications from federally recognized Indian tribes, states, units of local government, and NGOs. Landowners  cannot apply for FRPP directly.  They must apply through such an recognized entity.

The following documents require Adobe Readeror Microsoft Word

Application Materials (required)

Delaware  FRPP Entity Application Form(DOC; 36 KB) (submit one per entity)

Delaware  FRPP Parcel Application Form(DOC; 70 KB) (submit one for each parcel)

 Additional Information

Delaware  FRPP Ranking Form(DOC; 37KB)

Delaware  FRPP Timeline Information(DOC; 41KB)

Delaware Easement Closing Checklist (DOC; 51KB)

Adjusted Gross Income (AGI)At A Glance(PDF; 43 KB)

Entity Application Procedures

An entity shall submit a Delaware Entity Application Formto the Delaware State Conservationist. NRCS will determine if the entity is eligible to participate in FRPP. The Chief of NRCS will determine whether an entity is a certified entity based on the  Final Rule for FRPP.

The State Conservationist will notify the entity about its eligibility determination status.

Entities may submit applications for parcels with supporting documentation, to be scored, ranked, and considered for funding throughout the year. One Delaware  FRPP Parcel Application Formmust be submitted for each parcel.

When funds are available, the State Conservationist shall announce the date on which ranking of parcels shall occur. More than one ranking period may be held each year, depending on funding levels.

At the end of the federal fiscal year (September 30) the list of pending, unfunded parcels will be cancelled unless the entity requests they be considered for funding in the next fiscal year. Entities must submit a new list of parcels each fiscal year in order to be considered.

For More Information

Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program National NRCS Website 


Contact

Paul M. Petrichenko Assistant State Conservationist for Programs
Phone: 302-678-4180
Email: paul.petrichenko@de.usda.gov