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Application Deadline Established for Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) in Kansas

Publish Date
Kansas grassland easment

Application deadline announced

SALINA, KANSAS, December 7, 2022 ‒ United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is announcing the Statewide funding deadlines for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).  Kansas landowners and eligible entities may apply at any time, but to be considered for FY 2023 funding opportunities, applications must be received by the following:

  • Friday, January 6, 2023 – Wetland Reserve Easements (WRE)
  • Friday, March 3, 2023 – Agricultural Land Easements (ALE)

Under the 2018 Farm Bill, ACEP offers funding for the purchase of conservation easements to help retain productive farm and ranch lands in agriculture use and to reestablish and protect critical wetlands.  There are two voluntary programs under ACEP, each with a different application process.  Please contact your local NRCS office to ensure you receive guidance on the correct application process.

  • ACEP–ALE creates an easement on agricultural land to prevent the conversion of productive croplands and grasslands to non-agricultural uses.  
  • ACEP–WRE restores wetlands in order to provide habitat for wildlife (including threatened and endangered species), improve water quality by filtering sediments and chemicals, reduce flooding, recharge groundwater, and protect biological diversity.

Eligible landowners may choose to enroll in a permanent or 30-year easement.  Tribal landowners have the option of enrolling in 30-year contracts.

NRCS and Partners provide one-on-one assistance to create a conservation easement that works best for the farming or ranching operation.  Please contact your local NRCS office for specific information regarding an application. 

“Conservation easements provide many public benefits to Kansans, including the protection of open spaces, wildlife habitat, and wetland restoration and protection,” stated Jackie Byam, Acting State Conservationist.  “We encourage private landowners, Tribes, and non-governmental organizations to contact their local NRCS office to apply.”  

All ACEP–WRE applications are ranked according to the potential for protecting and enhancing habitat for migratory birds, fish, and other wildlife.  Compensation with a payment rate is based on an individual land appraisal, established Geographic Area Rate Cap (GARC), or landowner offer, whichever is less.  The GARC rates are posted on the Kansas ACEP-Wetland Reserve Easements web page.  The ACEP–ALE conservation easements payment is determined by an appraisal completed on the property.

It is important that applicants provide accurate records of ownership to USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA).  This FY, all landowners are required to file a CCC–902, Farm Operating Plan, along with adjusted gross income and conservation compliance forms.
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Service Center personnel continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools.  Because of the pandemic, some USDA Service Centers are open to limited visitors.  Contact your Service Center to set up an in-person or phone appointment.  Visit to create a secure account, apply for NRCS programs, electronically sign documents, and manage your conservation contracts.  

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