USDA Announces 2021 Sign-up Dates for Conservation Reserve Program and CRP Grasslands

Recently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the dates for the 2021 general sign-up for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and the 2021 sign-up for CRP Grasslands. The competitive general sign-up period, during which landowner offers are ranked and awarded based on a variety of metrics, will begin on January 4, 2021 and extend through February 12, 2021. The CRP Grasslands sign-up period will open on March 15, 2021 and close on April 23, 2021. Sign-up periods, which occur on an annual basis, provide opportunities for landowners to voluntarily enroll in this successful program and contribute to the conservation of our land, water, and wildlife.

CRP is among the largest and most successful private-lands conservation programs in the United States. In exchange for annual rental payments, landowners agree to willingly transition land from agricultural production, instead, converting enrolled acres to a land-use practice that is designed to benefit specific conservation objectives. During the competitive general sign-up, landowners will have the opportunity to enroll lands specifically for wildlife habitat through the popular State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) initiative, a program designed to meet high-priority state wildlife conservation goals. Like general CRP, the sign-up period for CRP Grasslands will be competitive, specifically targeting landowners and operators interested in conserving grasslands which provide numerous economic and ecological benefits, including critical habitat for a variety of wildlife like Northern Bobwhite, Greater Prairie Chicken, and many others.

The Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation is optimistic that this latest sign-up period will be one of the most successful conservation programs of this generation, and we encourage all interested landowners to contact their local USDA office to learn about enrollment opportunities in their area. With millions of acres available due to expiring CRP contracts, and the increase in the CRP acreage cap authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill, we look forward to the continued and future success of the Conservation Reserve Program.

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