Program Sponsor & Contacts
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Frequently Asked Questions
The Conservation Reserve Program – Continuous Signup (CCRP), begun in 1996, is an offshoot of the Conservation Reserve Program – General Signup (CRP General Signup. CCRP is a nationwide, voluntary program designed to help farmers restore and protect environmentally sensitive land—particularly wetlands, wildlife habitat and water quality buffers. Participants set aside cropland (and/or marginal pastureland in certain circumstances) for 10-15 years and plant long-term resource-conserving covers that reduce soil erosion, improve water quality and/or enhance wildlife habitat. In return, they receive annual land rental payments, cost-share assistance to establish and maintain the vegetation and—for certain practices—additional one-time special incentive payments.
CCRP differs from the CRP General Signup in several ways:
CCRP and CREP: CCRP is closely associated with the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP).—another offshoot of the CRP General Signup that developed a few years after the CRP Continuous Signup was launched. The agency that administers both programs at the federal level (USDA Farm Service Agency) treats CREP as part of CCRP for administrative purposes. (For example, in the agency’s monthly and annual CRP Contract Summary and Statistics, data on CREP contracts is often lumped with data for CCRP as a whole.) This website treats CCRP and CREP separately, however, as their payment rates and other features differ significantly.
Special Initiatives Associated with CCRP: CCRP includes several initiatives introduced to meet special needs or opportunities identified by program constituents. The special initiatives introduced to date are described below, including links for more information. See FAQ 12 for information about practice-specific acreage limitations that apply to these initiatives.
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), a federal agency, administers CCRP through its state and local offices, with assistance from other agencies.
The information on this web page is current as of June 2007. It is MDA's intention to review and update it if necessary at least every six months.
1. What funding is offered by this program?
2. When and where is this program offered?
3. Who is eligible?
To receive CCRP payments, a person must have owned or operated the enrolled land for at least 12 months prior to the close of the CCRP signup period—except in any of the following circumstances:
4. What lands are eligible?
Under the 2002 Farm Bill, to be eligible for the CCRP land must meet fit one of the following categories:
Additionally, the land must be suitable for a specific CCRP conservation practice option (see FAQ 5 below).
5. What conservation practices or activities are funded?
CCRP offers funding for wetland restoration, many types of conservation buffers and other special-purpose environmental priorities. Below is the current menu of CCRP conservation practice options, which FSA may change or expand at any time.
Other Special-Purpose Practices
6. How many acres can I enroll?
7. How long does the contract or easement last?
CCRP participants choose a desired contract length between 10 and 15 years. The contract goes into effect the first day of the month after which it is approved. [If the land is currently under any type of CRP contract and is within one year of expiration, the new CCRP contract will start on October 1 following the current contract’s expiration.] (In some circumstances, producers may defer the start date for up to 6 months.)
8. How do I apply for funding?
9. How can I maximize my chances of getting funded?
10. Once enrolled, what land uses or management activities are required or restricted?
11. How much land is currently enrolled in Minnesota?
The best source of up-to-date information on the amount and types of land enrolled in all CRP programs in Minnesota, including the CCRP, is FSA’s CRP Contract Summary and Statistics.
Additional breakdowns of enrollment data by county are available in FSA’s Monthly Active CRP Contract Reports. The tables show data compiled by program year (crop year) and by CRP signup number. Each table begins with data for the first CRP signup or program/crop year in which existing acreage was originally enrolled. Therefore, to determine the total acreage currently enrolled (e.g., in a given conservation practice in a given Minnesota county), you must scroll to the end of the table where a heading will indicate "all program years" or "all signups".
12. Is there a limit to the number of acres that can be enrolled in Minnesota, or in any one county or watershed?
Yes, CCRP enrollment in Minnesota is subject to national, county and, for certain practices, practice-specific acreage limitations.
National Acreage Cap: The 2002 Farm Bill allows up to 39.2 million acres to be enrolled nationwide at any one time in farm bill set-aside programs (including CCRP, the CRP General Signup, the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP).
National Acreage Quota for CCRP/CREP: Within the national acreage cap described above, up to 2.5 million acres are reserved for CCRP and CREP. Within that amount, there are no limitations on the number of acres that may be enrolled in CCRP in any one state, except for the county and selected practice-specific acreage limitations described below.
County Acreage Limitation: No more than 25% of a county’s cropland acreage may be enrolled in farm bill set-aside programs at any one time. County FSA Committees may appeal the percentage on a case-by-case basis. At least two northwestern Minnesota counties have requested and have been permitted to enroll of more than 25% of their cropland acreage.
Practice-Specific Acreage Allocations: Under the 2002 Farm Bill, enrollment in certain CCRP practices associated with special initiatives is limited by state-specific acreage caps. All of the CCRP special initiatives introduced to date are described above under the Program Overview above. State-specific acreage caps for each initiative were established when the initiatives were first introduced. In February 2007, USDA adjusted these allocations, resulting in reduced allocations for Minnesota. The table below shows Minnesota’s initial and current acreage allocations, which remain in effect until September 30, 2007 when the 2002 Farm Bill expires.
CCRP Special Initiative Practice-Specific Acreage Caps for Minnesota
* From 1998-2003 this practice was available only through the CRP General Signup and was not subject to a practice-specific acreage cap. At one time, around 300,000 acres were enrolled in this practice in Minnesota under the General Signup. In 2003, the practice was converted to a CRP Continuous Signup (CCRP) practice, and new contracts from then on were subject to the acreage cap.
Barbara Weisman, Conservation Program Specialist
651-201-6631 or 1-800-967-2474
Ag Marketing & Development Division