NRCS State Conservationist, Ivan Dozier announced funding is now available for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Agriculture Land Easements (ACEP-ALE)
Champaign, IL - November 7, 2022--NRCS State Conservationist, Ivan Dozier announced funding is now available for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Agriculture Land Easements (ACEP-ALE) This program provides an opportunity for landowners to place land into an easement while continuing to produce an agricultural commodity. The Ag Land Easement program protects agriculture land from conversion to uses other than agriculture. According to Dozier, “Many landowners find this program useful when they want to leave a farming legacy or they want to protect agriculture land from Urban expansion.”
ACEP-ALE is different than other easement programs. ACEP-ALE requires an entity to assist with the cost of purchasing the easement and the entity also holds the easement instead of NRCS. This often appeals to some landowners because they feel more comfortable with the entity serving as the easement holder. Eligible entities include state and local governments and non-governmental organizations that have farmland or grassland protection programs.
For the FY2023 Signup, great resources are available to help explain the Ag Land Easement program requirements for entities and landowners. NRCS worked with American Farmland Trust (AFT) to create documents that walk a landowner or entity through the easement process. These resource materials are located on the NRCS IL website: www.il.nrcs.usda.gov.
The ACEP-ALE signup process is continuous; applications can be taken at any time. NRCS will begin funding applications early this fiscal year, setting the first application cutoff for December 23, 2022. All eligible applications received through December 23, 2022, will be considered for funding.
Entities interested in participating in ACEP-ALE must submit an NRCS-CPA-41 Entity Application Form along with NRCS-CPA-41A Parcel Application Form, for all the parcels they would like to fund in FY23.