USDA Reopens Signup for Continuous Conservation Reserve Program

Today the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced they would reopen enrollment for the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (continuous CRP). The program will reopen on January 12, 2024 — Additionally, producers already participating in CRP whose contracts expire this year can apply to re-enroll beginning the same day. 

“CRP is the cornerstone of our work to empower producers and landowners in fostering healthy upland bird populations on their properties,” said Ariel Wiegard, vice president of government affairs at Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever. “We’re thankful to Congress for extending CRP’s authorization into 2024, and to the USDA for offering timely opportunities to enroll new acres and re-enroll expiring acres in this vital program. CRP exemplifies Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s commitment to a future where wild lands and working lands come together to support life and livelihoods across the country.”

Under continuous CRP signup, environmentally sensitive land devoted to certain conservation practices can be enrolled in CRP at any time. Offers are automatically accepted provided the land and producer meet certain eligibility requirements, and the enrollment levels do not exceed the statutory cap. Unlike enrollments under general CRP signups or CRP Grasslands, continuous enrollment is not subject to competitive bidding during specific periods.

To submit an offer, producers should contact the Farm Service Agency (FSA) at their local USDA Service Center by July 31, 2024, in order to have an offer effective by Oct. 1, 2024. To ensure enrollment acreages do not exceed the statutory cap, FSA will accept offers from producers on a first-come, first-served basis and will return offers for approval in batches throughout the year.  Producers with acres enrolled in Continuous CRP set to expire Sept. 30, 2024, can offer acres for re-enrollment beginning Jan.12, 2024. A producer can both enroll new acres into Continuous CRP and re-enroll any acres expiring in September. 

As part of the announcement, FSA water quality practices such as riparian buffers, prairie strips, grassed waterways and wetlands will receive an additional 20% incentive. The Climate-Smart Practice Incentive launched in 2021 is also available via continuous signup.  

Continuous CRP programs include both the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and the State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement Program (SAFE), both of which are highly impactful tools for the management of upland bird habitat in-particular. For more information on these programs or Continuous CRP in general, contact your local Pheasants Forever biologist.  

“We are pleased to announce we are now accepting Continuous CRP offers,” said FSA administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “Continuous CRP is one of the best conservation tools we can provide producers and landowners. Whether a producer wants to focus on water quality benefits or work with one of our partners to address a natural resource concern in their area, the program offers many options to help you meet your resource conservation goals.”  

About Pheasants Forever

Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever make up the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. This community of more than 400,000 members, supporters and partners is dedicated to the protection of our uplands through habitat improvement, public access, education and advocacy. A network of 754 local chapters spread across North America determine how 100 percent of their locally raised funds are spent — the only national conservation organization that operates through this grassroots structure. Since its creation in 1982, the organization has dedicated more than $1 billion to 575,000 habitat projects benefiting 24 million acres.

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Casey Sill