Today at the Growing America’s Outdoor Heritage and Economy Conference, U.S.D.A. secretary Tom Vilsack is set to announce a new Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) investment that will preserve 1 million acres of grassland and wetlands. The CRP, administered through the Farm Service Agency, has been around for 25 years, preserving land through voluntary participation. This latest initiative aims for specific enrollments of environmentally sensitive lands that benefit duck nesting habitat, upland birds, wetlands, pollinators and wildlife.
In return for establishing long-term, resource-conserving covers, FSA provides annual rental payments to participants. FSA bases rental rates on the relative productivity of the soils within each county and the average dryland cash rent or cash rent equivalent. FSA also provides cost-share assistance for conservation initiatives such s filter strips, wetland restoration, riparian buffers and for planting approved cover plants on top of croplands.