PIERRE — U.S. Department of Ag recently announced it will start taking offers for enrollment into the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) on Monday, June 3.
Local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices will take applications for enrollment into certain continuous CRP practices including but not limited to; grassed waterways, filter strips, riparian buffers, wetland restoration, the farmable wetlands pilot, and duck nesting habitat.
“A key benefit of the duck nesting habitat practice is the ability to enroll up to 10 upland acres per wetland acre,” said Game, Fish and Parks’ senior wildlife biologist, Mark Norton. “This creates important nesting and concealment habitat for a variety of ground nesting birds and other grassland-dependent wildlife.”
All of these CRP practices provide 50 percent cost-share to establish grassland habitat on cropland acres and provide an annual rental payment for ten to 15 years.
Land being offered for enrollment must have a cropping history of 4 out of 6 years from 2012 to 2017 or be in a current CRP contract expiring on Sept. 30, 2019. If the offer includes any land that will be re-enrolled, the deadline to submit the offer will be Aug. 23, 2019.
CRP provides important benefits of improved water quality and soil health, forage for livestock, and habitat for wildlife.
“Restoring grasslands and wetlands through CRP will provide important habitat for pheasants, ducks, deer and pollinators,” said Norton.
Land enrolled in CRP is also a priority for South Dakota’s Walk-in Area public hunting access program, which provides a sign-up incentive bonus payment for multi-year access contracts on CRP acres, annual payments and posts the boundaries with signs for the participating landowner.
South Dakota Game Fish and Parks encourages those interested in enrolling in CRP to contact a habitat advisor listed on habitat.sd.gov/advisors or your local FSA office