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Closings, Cancellations and Delays


New CRP enrollment offers opportunity for grazing, hay


SD Ag Connection - December 24, 2020

PIERRE, SD - The Conservation Reserve Program continues to improve and is now more practical for working ranches, land health and wildlife than ever. Grazing, haying and other management actions are allowed within the context of an overall plan and will recycle nutrients, stimulate plant growth, improve soil health and open the stand so that young wildlife can move and forage.

General CRP enrollment for grazing, hay and habitat is scheduled January 4 through February 12, with Grassland CRP sign-up following in March.

Pete Bauman, SDSU Extension Natural Resources and Wildlife Field Specialist encourages producers to take advantage of the contract period to explore long term grazing and wildlife habitat options.

CRP management plans are cooperatively designed by the landowner and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service staff or by Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Biologists stationed at NRCS offices. These individuals can help landowners assess the situation and will work to identify which CRP programs might best fit that operation.

Applicants often receive additional points to increase their chance of being accepted if they consider one or more factors including offering their most erodible cropland, including diverse native species, or agreeing to a reduced annual rental rate. Additional opportunities often target non-operating landowners, socially underrepresented landowners and beginning operators.

Continuous programs tend to have more specific focus (such as duck habitat or waterway protection), and often have a few more considerations in the management plan. However, continuous programs also have higher rental rates and additional incentives (i.e. payment to landowner) than do the general programs.

Most CRP programs offer contract options for 10 or 15 years and require the land has a proven cropping history, but there are some exceptions. Grassland CRP targets existing native or planted grass that may not have a cropping history. Under Grassland CRP, the landowner receives a rental payment and can still graze or lease the pasture or grassland if they choose. An NRCS approved grazing plan is still required. The next signup period for Grassland CRP runs from March 15 through April 23.



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