New Conservation Opportunities to Improve Water Quality and Restore Wildlife Habitat

Randall Weiseman Ag "Outdoors", Alabama, Environment, Florida, General, Georgia

White-Tailed deer at Morninside Nature Center.Last week the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced they will offer farmers and ranchers more opportunities to participate in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). This includes new CRP practices to protect water quality and adds an additional 1.1 million acres targeted to benefit wildlife, pollinators and wetlands.

The new conservation initiative, known as Clean Lakes, Estuaries and Rivers (CLEAR), will add new tools to CRP that can help to improve water quality. USDA will also add an additional 1.1 million acres to a number of key CRP practices that are critically important to wildlife and conservation.

Signing incentives are being reduced by $25 per acre on certain practices for fiscal year 2018 enrollments (incentives are currently between $100 and $150 per acre) and a cap on the maximum soil rental rate is being instituted for Continuous CRP at $300 per acre. The savings from these changes are being reinvested back in CRP, including the additional acres for SAFE, pollinator habitat and wetlands restoration.

To learn more visit or contact your local FSA office.