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Grassland Reserve Program

The Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) is a voluntary program that helps landowners and operators protect eligible grazing lands including rangeland, pastureland, shrubland, and certain other lands using rental contracts or conservation easements. RestorationImage of Sheep agreements on either rental contracts or conservation easements may be required for some properties.

The program emphasizes support for working grazing operations, enhancement of plant and animal biodiversity, and protection of grasslands under threat of conversion to cropping, urban development, and other activities.

GRP is implemented jointly by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA). Program funding comes through the Commodity Credit Corporation.

Eligible land includes privately owned grasslands; land that contains forbs (including improved rangeland and pastureland or shrubland) for which grazing is the predominant use; or land that is located in an area that historically has been dominated by grassland, forbs, or shrubland that has the potential to serve as wildlife habitat of significant ecological value.

There is no minimum acreage for enrollment. Land is not eligible if it is: currently enrolled in another conservation program; already protected by an existing easement, contract or deed restriction; or owned by a conservation organization.

A grazing management plan is required for all GRP rental contracts and easements. A grazing management plan addresses resource concerns on land where grazing related activities or practices are planned and applied. This plan will include any restrictions to haying, mowing, or harvesting for seed production in the local area during the nesting season for grassland birds that are in significant decline.

The Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) provision of the 2008 Farm Bill impacts eligibility for GRP and several other programs.  Individuals or entities that have an AGI exceeding $1 million for the three tax years immediately preceding are not eligible to receive program benefits or payments. However, an exemption is provided in cases where 2/3 of the AGI is derived from farming, ranching, or forestry operations.

Interested landowners may submit applications under a continuous sign-up. The cutoff date for ranking applications is March 1, 2011.

Application Submissions

For more information on the program, please contact the following NRCS representative.

Michael Kenyon
GRP Program Manager
michael.kenyon@ri.usda.gov
401-822-8821
USDA-NRCS
60 Quaker Lane, Suite 40
Warwick, RI 02886

The following documents require Adobe Acrobat Adobe Acrobat.

Application Materials

NRCS-CPA-1200 GRP Application and NRCS-CPA-1202 Appendix (PDF, 44 KB)
Example GRP DEED (PDF, 37 KB)
LTP-31 Easement Agreement Attachment (PDF, 42 KB)
CCC-901 Members Information (PDF, 115 KB)
AD-1026 Highly Erodible Land Certification (PDF, 97 KB)
CCC-931 Adjusted Gross Income Certification (PDF, 126 KB)

Last Modified: 01/06/2012