2008 Farm Bill Programs
Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
Purpose of Program
- The Conservation Reserve Program is a voluntary program where landowners enroll in contracts to take highly erodible or environmentally sensitive lands out of agricultural production.
- Texas currently has more than 4 million acres enrolled in CRP. Nationally there is a 39.2 million acre cap, which will be reduced to 32 million acres starting October 1, 2009.
- All but federal lands are eligible.
- Land must have been cropped in 4 of 6 years between 2002 and 2007.
- Each county has an acreage cap of 25% of the total cropland acres in that county that can be enrolled in CRP. Many panhandle counties have already reached their cap.
Contracts and Cost-Share
- Contract Period - 10 -15 years
- Cost Share - Most practices receive a 50% cost share with additional incentive payments for certain practices. Landowners also receive a rental payment between $30-$40/acre during each year of the contract. Required mid-contract management practices are also cost shared.
- Payments are based on soil type, with better soils receiving higher rents.
- CRP is run by the Farm Services Agency.
- Regular CRP applications can only be filed during limited enrollment periods at local FSA/USDA Service Centers.
Common CRP Practices
- Establishment of permanent grasses and legumes (natives preferred)
- Permanent Wildlife Habitat
- Wildlife Wetland Habitat Management
- Shallow water areas for wildlife
- Tree Planting (where appropriate)
- Field Windbreak Establishment
- After CRP Wildlife Economics
- After CRP Farming and Grazing Economics
- After CRP Land Management with Wildlife
For more information contact:
Chuck Kowaleski, Farm Bill Coordinator
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Phone: (254) 718-7684
- Natural Resources Conservation Service(NRCS) - Contact information from the US Dept. of Agriculture Service Center Locator for Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Rural Development agencies.
- Texas State Water and Soil Conservation Board - Texas Soil and Water Conservation Districts Locator Map and information.
- Farm Service Agency - FSA website for Texas Farm Service Agency Directory.