NSAC's Blog

Enrollment for Continuous Conservation Reserve Program Unfrozen

June 1, 2018


Contact: Reana Kovalcik
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
202-547-5754, rkovalcik@sustainableagriculture.net

Enrollment for Continuous Conservation Reserve Program Unfrozen
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition applauds reopening of enrollment 

Washington, DC, June 1, 2018 – Today, the USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced it would resume Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CCRP) enrollment following a freeze initiated last year on enrollment of any new acres for the remainder of fiscal year (FY) 2017; this freeze continued into FY 2018. In response to the announcement, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition released the following comment:

“CCRP is a critical tool that helps farmers to protect the quality of soil, water, and wildlife habitats on their lands,” said Alyssa Charney, Senior Policy Specialist at NSAC. “Last year’s freezing of enrollment, though necessary, was nonetheless a major setback for producers and conservation, so we are extremely pleased that USDA has made the decision to re-open sign ups. CCRP is a program that protects and restores environmentally sensitive acres through the installation of targeted conservation buffers, and it is an important resource for producers and for improving water quality and habitat.  We welcome the re-opening of enrollment for CCRP acres, and the strong focus on water quality related buffer practices. We will work with FSA and Congress, however, to urge the inclusion other several other important in-field buffer practices in the future that were left out of today’s announcement.”
Today’s announced sign-up period will run from June 4, 2018 through August 17, 2018. For this sign-up, a subset of CCRP practices that are particularly effective at protecting and enhancing water quality are available, including grass waterways, filter strips, and bioreactors. NSAC has long advocated for practices like these, which help to keep nutrients and soil out of adjacent waterways, to be prioritized within CRP and CCRP. Excluded from today’s announcement are several very effective in-field buffer practices, such as contour grass strips, that are eligible under CCRP but are not included in this particular sign-up.
“We appreciate the updated ranking criteria announced today for the CRP Grasslands Initiative,” added Charney. “This Initiative provides priority to applicants with land coming out of CRP who are looking to transition to grazing operations consistent with sound conservation and wildlife practices. It is an excellent opportunity for conservation-minded farmers and landowners with land that has expired or will expire soon from CRP.
Another good option for farmers and landowners, not mentioned in today’s announcement, is the CRP Transition Incentive Program or TIP, which provides additional CRP payments to current contract holders who agree to rent or sell their land to beginning farmers and ranchers who will put the land back into conservation-minded production. We urge CRP participants with expiring contracts to take a serious look at both TIP and the Grasslands Initiative as options for continued stewardship following their CRP contract.”


About the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities. Learn more and get involved at: https://sustainableagriculture.net

Categories: Conservation, Energy & Environment, Press Releases

2 responses to “Enrollment for Continuous Conservation Reserve Program Unfrozen”

  1. James says:

    Thanks for such wonderful program.

  2. […] National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) celebrated the reopening of CCRP […]