WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/09/20]— U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) said today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has responded to her push to increase Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) incentive payments for certain CRP practices from 5 percent to 20 percent.
In October, Sen. Smith pressed U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to increase incentive payments to stop the enrollment decline in the CRP, which plays a key role in protecting environmentally-sensitive farm land, stopping soil erosion, improving water quality and preserving wildlife habitat.
In an October letter to Perdue, Sen. Smith, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, pushed him to significantly increase Practice Incentive Payments (PIP) and to begin making rental rate incentive payments, both tools that past Administrations have used to maintain strong enrollment in CRP. She was joined on the letter by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Cory Booker (D-NJ).
“For 35 years, CRP has provided producers in Minnesota and across the with many economic and conservation benefits,” said Senator Smith. “Now that USDA has agreed to increase CRP incentive payments, I urge interested farmers to contact their local FSA office for information on enrolling and receiving the increased payments.”
Sen. Smith said the Farm Service Agency (FSA), which administers CRP, is upping the Practice Incentive Payment for installing practices, from 5 percent to 20 percent. Additionally, producers will receive a 10 percent incentive payment for water quality practices on land enrolled in CRP’s continuous signup.
Under continuous CRP, producers can enroll environmentally sensitive land devoted to certain conservation practices and can sign up at any time. FSA automatically accepts offers provided the land and producer meet certain eligibility requirements and the enrollment levels do not exceed the number of acres FSA is allowed to enroll in CRP, which was set by the 2018 Farm Bill.