Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a voluntary program that provides technical and financial assistance to eligible farmers and ranchers to address soil, water, and related natural resource concerns on their lands in an environmentally beneficial and cost-effective manner. The program provides assistance to farmers and ranchers in complying with Federal, State, and tribal environmental laws, and encourages environmental enhancement. The program is funded through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). CRP is administered by the Farm Service Agency, with NRCS providing technical land eligibility determinations, conservation planning and practice implementation assistance.
The Conservation Reserve Program reduces soil erosion, protects the nation's ability to produce food and fiber, reduces sedimentation in streams and lakes, improves water quality, establishes wildlife habitat, and enhances forest and wetland resources. It encourages farmers to convert highly erodible cropland or other environmentally sensitive acreage to vegetative cover, such as tame or native grasses, wildlife plantings, trees, filter strips, or riparian buffers. Farmers receive an annual rental payment for the term of the multi-year contract. Cost-sharing is provided to establish the vegetative cover practices.
Wyoming has approximately 190,000 acres enrolled in CRP, with the vast majority occurring in the southeast Wyoming counties of Goshen, Laramie and Platte. In addition to the acreage enrolled under the general CRP sign-ups, there are several hundred acres that have been enrolled under the Continuous CRP, which targets smaller, environmentally sensitive areas, such as those found along Wyoming’s riparian zones.
General CRP signups are announced by the Farm Services Agency, as directed by the Secretary of Agriculture. However, as the name implies, the Continuous aspect of CRP (CCRP) allows for producers to submit their applications at any time. There are a variety of practices available under the CCRP and range from Field Windbreaks on cropland to Riparian Forest Buffers on marginal pastureland.
The Adjusted Gross Income provision of the 2008 Farm Bill impacts eligibility for CRP and several other 2008 Farm Bill programs. Refer to 7 CFR Part 1400 for additional information.
Casey Sheley, State Resource Conservationist, (307) 233-6768.