The general signup for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the original component of this popular USDA program. Administered by the Farm services Agency (FSA) the general CRP allows landowners to enter whole farms and whole fields in this cropland set-aside program in exchange for annual rental payments. Contract lengths are 10-15 years.
(See the CRP Summary page for qualifying requirements)
Applications for the general CRP are accepted only during announced sign-up periods. On the average these occur every 1-2 years as announced by the Secretary of Agriculture.
The general CRP is a competitive program. Individuals enter an application which is scored by the Farm Service Agency for Environmental Benefit (EBI). The higher the score of the EBI the greater the chance of being accepted in the program. Applicants with a score above the cut-off level are offered contracts. Individuals can then choose if they wish to enter in the program.
Once contracts are developed, participants will plan conservation cover in cooperation with NRCS and install conservation practices such as warm season grasses, cool season grasses, trees, food plots wetlands, etc. USDA will pay 50% of the cost of these improvements (based on established average costs). Participants need to get this work completed during the next planting season.
Once vegetation is established it is the responsibility of the contract holder to maintain the cover for the length of the CRP contract. Mowing of grass cover can be done once a year only between July 16 and September 1.
Mowing is NOT required and should only be done to encourage the planned grass cover and to discourage noxious weeds and undesirable woody vegetation.
Annual payments are based on soil type and range from $48 to $98 per acre with the average of approximately $90 per acre per year.
Lorain County currently has over 2,000 acres enrolled in the General CRP.
For additional information contact the Lorain County Farm Services Agency (FSA) at the address above.