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Conservation Reserve Program For Grasslands – Application Deadline 12/16/2016

By   /  November 28, 2016  /  No Comments

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The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) was recently expanded to include Grasslands. It’s an effort to help landowners and operators protect grassland, including rangeland and pastureland while while still using them for grazing. Participants receive annual payments  of not more than 75% of the value of the land and cost-share assistance for contracts lasting between 14 and 15 years. This year’s deadline to apply for inclusion in the program is December 16, 2106 so if you’re interested, you’ll want to head over to your local Farm Service Agency to get help with the paperwork.

Small Livestock Operations Welcome!

Small livestock operations with 100 or fewer grazing dairy cows or equivalent can submit applications to enroll up to 200 acres per operation. To figure out what that means for you, check out the table below showing Animal Unit Equivalents:


The CRP Grasslands program emphasizes support for grazing operations, plant and animal biodiversity and grassland and land containing shrubs and forbs under the greatest threat of conversion. Participation in the program can also make you eligible for 50% cost-share assistance when you establish approved practices that address these issues. To be eligible land must be currently planted to grass cover and you must have owned or operated it for at least 12 months prior to the application deadline (though there are exceptions in cases of inheritance and foreclosure).

Cattle graze at Emerald Valley Farm, a 200 head dairy operation in Newville, owned and operated by Clifford and Maggie Hawbaker.

Cattle graze at Emerald Valley Farm, a 200 head dairy operation in Newville, owned and operated by Clifford and Maggie Hawbaker.

Clifford Hawbaker operates a 200 head dairy in Pennsylvania and has enrolled some of his land in this program. He says, “I think this practice (is) a good option and choice for farmers. It helps the environment and it’s really given me a different appreciation for grass.”

Your Farm Service Agent is happy to talk with you to see if this is a good option for your operation. Click here to locate your nearest office.

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About the author

editor and contributor

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.

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