Conservation Reserve Program Deadline Approaching
The deadline for signing up for the USDA's Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is February 28, 2020. It has been a while and we do not know when the next general CRP sign-up will be available. So, if you are interested in offering some of your land to be enrolled in the CRP be sure to talk with the staff at your local Farm Service Agency as soon as possible.
CRP had been capped at 22 million acres. However, the 2018 Farm Bill increased the cap to 27 million acres. Farmers that enroll in CRP receive a rental payment each year for "voluntarily planting long term resource conserving plant species such as approved grasses or trees (known as covers), which can control soil erosion, improve water quality and develop wildlife habitat on marginally productive agricultural lands."
I understand it is a competitive bidding process where the more conservation practices you offer the more likely your bid would be accepted for your land to be put in the CRP. I suspect with corn and soybean prices so low there will be a lot of interest in bidding less productive land in CRP.