The Agricultural Act of 2014 establishes the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).
It repeals FRPP, GRP, and WRP but does not affect the validity or terms of any FRPP, GRP, or WRP contract, agreement or easement entered into prior to the date of enactment on February 7, 2014 or any associated payments required to be made in connection with an existing FRPP, GRP, or WRP contract, agreement or easement.
The Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) offers landowners the opportunity to protect privately owned grasslands. The GRP was re-authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill with the intent of supporting grazing operations and shrublands from the threat of conversion to uses other than grazing. The programs also supports maintaining and improving plant and animal biodiversity on land enrolled. Payments under GRP cannot exceed $50,000 per year. Enrollment options include:
Permanent Easements. Payments are based on the fair market value of the property less the grazing value.
Rental Agreements. 10, 15, or 20-year options are available. Seventy-five percent of the grazing value will be paid in annual payments for the length of the agreement.
Restoration Agreements. Payments of not more than 50 percent for the cost of carrying out the conservation practices or activities
Applications to participate in GRP are accepted at local NRCS field offices on a continuous basis. Cut-off dates are announced by NRCS when submitted applications will be ranked and selected for funding.
Applications are available on-line or in county USDA Service Centers. The Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Farm Service Agency jointly administer this program, applications are accepted at either office.