Farmland Protection Easements in Pennsylvania
The Farm and Ranch Protection Program's (FRPP) goal is to facilitate and provide funding for the
purchase of conservation easements or other interests in land for the purpose of protecting the agricultural use and related conservation values by limiting nonagricultural uses of the land. NRCS works through eligible entities and provides funds to pay for up to 50 percent of the fair market value of the easement.
Farm Bill Information
Land eligibility requirements (not all listed):
Land must be privately owned, and
- Contain at least 50 percent prime, unique, statewide or locally important farmland or contain historical or archeological resources or land that furthers a State or local policy that is consistent with FRPP purpose,
- Be subject to a pending offer by an eligible entity,
- Be cropland, grassland, pasture land or forest land (forest land not more two-thirds of easement) that contributes to the viability of an agricultural operation or serves as a buffer to protect an agricultural operation from development.
Other program requirements (not all listed):
- Landowner is responsible for complying with highly erodible land and wetland conservation and meeting the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) limitations.
- A conservation plan must be developed before the easement goes to closing.
- Entity must provide proof of matching funds for easement acquisition.
Appraisals and Technical Reviews
Appraisals conducted for parcels that will receive FRPP funding must be completed according to NRCS policy. FRPP policy Part 519.102, provides instructions and describes in detail requirements for appraisals to meet NRCS policy. Appraisals must meet either UASFLA or USPAP standards and must be in Self-Contained Report format. No other appraisal format will be accepted by NRCS for the FRPP program. In addition, the appraisal effective date must be within twelve months of the closing date with the landowner and within twelve months of the date of NRCS reimbursement. NRCS will return to the entity all appraisals that have an effective date older than twelve months and that are not in Self-Contained report format.
All appraisal reports are subject to a technical appraisal review conducted for compliance with appraisal instructions prior to acceptance by NRCS. Upon receiving an adequate appraisal from an entity, NRCS will submit the appraisal for Technical Review. Part 519.102 describes in detail the requirements and format for the Technical Review of FRPP appraisals.
NRCS FRPP appraisal policy has changed from program year to program year. See the link below summarizing FRPP appraisal rules for current and prior year cooperative agreements.
Contact your local Service Center for a FRPP Appraisal Rules Comparison Table
Applying for the FRPP Program
Interested landowners must work through an eligible entity and submit applications to the:
Pennsylvania USDA-NRCS State Office
359 East Park Drive, Suite 2
Harrisburg, PA 17111-2747
Entities can submit applications at any time. NRCS will accept and rank applications monthly until funds are expended. Unfunded applications can be retained for the next funding cycle.
NOTE: FRPP funds cannot be matched with any other Federal funds.
2013 FRPP Forms and Information:
The following is a list of the INFORMATION and FORMS need to signup for FRPP. FRPP information and forms are available online at USDA Service Center Agencies eForms or at a local USDA Service Center.
For completion by entity!
Form Number: SF-424
Form Description: Fillable Application
Form Number: SF-424A
Form Description: Budget Non Construction
Form Number: SF-424B
Form Description: Assurances - Non-Construction Programs
For completion by Landowner!
Form Number: NRCS-CPA-1200
Form Description: Conservation Program Application
NRCS use only!
Form Number: N/A
Form Description: Application Support Information - Coming Soon!
Form Number: N/A
Form Description: Parcel Eligibility and Ranking Form - Coming Soon!
2013 Program Announcement
FRPP Manual (Follow the link to Electronic Directives System home page Subpart G – Conservation Easements.
Cooperative Agreement Templates
The Cooperative Agreement Templates are listed below: