Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced late last week the availability of a one-year extension for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts expiring Sept. 30, 2019. The extension is a stopgap until the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) can finish its rulemaking process to account for the changes to CRP that were made in the 2018 farm law.
CRP contracts on approximately 1.6 million acres are currently scheduled to expire on Sept. 30. The signup for the one-year extension will begin June 3 and end on Aug. 23. The extension is not available to CRP participants if the extension causes the contract duration to exceed 15 years.
In lieu of extending CRP contracts, participants may notify their county Farm Service Agency (FSA) office that they intend to return the land to crop production. If seedbed preparation for a fall-seeded crop begins after July 1, no penalty is assessed. There is a reduction in the previous year’s CRP payment if seedbed preparation begins prior to July 1. CRP participants should contact their county FSA office for further information on seedbed preparation.
To have base acres reinstated, participants exiting CRP contracts are required to contact their county FSA office. Retiring or retired landowners with expiring CRP contracts may be eligible to transition their land to a beginning or socially disadvantaged farmer and receive an additional two years of CRP payments.