USDA and North Dakota partner in 20,000 acre Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program
FARGO, N.D. -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture is making additional funding available to eligible North Dakota producers to undertake certain conservation practices that improve water quality through the North Dakota Riparian Project.
FARGO, N.D. - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is making additional funding available to eligible North Dakota producers to undertake certain conservation practices that improve water quality through the North Dakota Riparian Project.
USDA’s Farm Service Agency will provide more than $19 million in annual rental, incentive and cost-share payments to enroll or re-enroll land devoted to filter strips, riparian buffers or pollinator/honeybee habitat, while the State of North Dakota will contribute more than $4.3 million. The amount of payments/incentives/assistance would only be realized if all 20,000 acres are enrolled within a 10 year period. Under the North Dakota Riparian Project CREP, producers receive higher incentive and rental payments that increase the total amount of payments received.
A riparian buffer is an area of trees and shrubs located adjacent to streams, lakes, ponds and wetlands. A filter strip is a mixture of grasses planted to help reduce the amount of run-off sediment and nutrients from reaching the targeted watersheds.
USDA and the State of North Dakota are partners in implementing a voluntary Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program to enroll up to 20,000 acres in portions of Adams, Billings, Bowman, Burleigh, Dunn, Emmons, Grant, Golden Valley, Hettinger, McKenzie, Mercer, Morton, Oliver, Sioux, Slope and Stark counties.
The North Dakota Riparian Project CREP is intended to improve water quality, reduce soil erosion, reduce the amount of sediment, phosphorous and other pollutants entering waterbodies and create and improve habitat beneficial to pollinators and other wildlife. The project closely aligns with the ND Game and Fish Department’s State Wildlife Action Plan and the Save Our Lakes Program priority watersheds.
CREP is part of the USDA Conservation Reserve Program. CRP is a federally funded voluntary program that contracts with agricultural producers so that environmentally sensitive land is not farmed or ranched, but instead used for conservation benefits. CRP participants establish permanent, resource conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees (known as “covers”) to control soil erosion, improve water quality and develop wildlife habitat. In return FSA provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance.
With CREP, high-priority conservation goals are identified by the state, and then federal funds are supplemented with non-federal funds to achieve those goals.
Through the North Dakota Riparian Project CREP, federal and state resources are made available to voluntarily enroll in the CRP for a minimum of 10-year, not to exceed 15-year, contracts. Participants remove cropland from agricultural production and convert the land to riparian buffers, filter strips and native grasses and forbs
CRP practices available under CREP include CP21 filter Strips, CP22 Riparian Buffer, CP42 Pollinator habitat, and CP42B Pollinator Habitat for Honey Bees.
Enrollment for the North Dakota Riparian Project CREP is on a continuous basis. To be eligible, land must be located in the project area and be cropland. Land currently or previously enrolled in CRP is not eligible for enrollment in the North Dakota Riparian Project CREP. Cropland must meet cropping history criteria and be physically and legally capable of being planted in a normal manner to an agricultural commodity.
At least 50 percent of the total acres enrolled per contract must be devoted to practice CP21 or CP22. The remaining portion of the acres enrolled, not to exceed 50 percent of the total acres enrolled, may be devoted to practice CP42 and/or CP42B.
All land enrolled in a CRP contract under the North Dakota Riparian Project CREP must also be enrolled in the North Dakota Private Land Open to Sportsman (PLOTS) program. A minimum of 40 acres of land must be enrolled in the North Dakota PLOTS program for the length of the associated CRP contract. If the total acres enrolled in a CRP contract is less than 40 acres, the producer must enroll other land into the North Dakota PLOTS program to meet the 40 acre minimum requirement.
“CREP is another option under CRP that producers may select to enhance their land” said, Brian Haugen, Acting State Executive Director for the North Dakota Farm Service Agency. “Eligible producers may still enroll in CRP through general or continuous signup; however, the North Dakota Riparian Project CREP provides additional benefits not available through the general and/or continuous enrollment.”
Haying and grazing are not allowed during the CRP contract period unless authorized by USDA. Contact your local FSA office for more information about authorized haying and grazing activities.
CRP, a voluntary program re-authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, builds on historic economic gains in rural America while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for U.S. taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. To learn more visit www.fsa.usda.gov/crp . To find an FSA office near you, visit http://offices.usda.gov .