BANGOR — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced that agricultural producers and private landowners can sign up for the Grassland Conservation Reserve Program.

The signup runs through Friday, June 28. Grassland CRP, offered by USDA’s Farm Service Agency, is a voluntary working lands conservation program that enables participants to conserve grasslands and provide important conservation benefits for wildlife, soil health and carbon sequestration, all while continuing most grazing and haying practices.

More than 2.3 million acres from agricultural producers and private landowners were accepted through the 2023 Grassland CRP signup. That signup reflects the continued success and value of investments in voluntary, producer-led, working lands conservation programs. The current total participation in Grassland CRP is 8.64 million acres, which is part of the 24.8 million acres enrolled in CRP opportunities overall, according to a news release from Mary Anne Coffin, outreach coordinator with the Maine State FSA Office.

Landowners and producers interested in CRP should contact their local USDA Service Center to learn more or to apply for the program before the June 28 deadline.

Other CRP Options FSA is also accepting applications for the Continuous CRP signup, which opened in January 2023. Under this enrollment, producers and landowners can enroll in CRP throughout the year. Offers are automatically accepted provided the producer and land meet the eligibility requirements and the enrollment levels do not exceed the statutory cap.

Additionally, FSA also offers financial assistance to producers and landowners enrolled in CRP to improve the health of their forests through the Forest Management Incentive, which can help participants with forest management practices, such as brush management and prescribed burning.

Producers with expiring CRP acres can use the Transition Incentives Program, which incentivizes producers who sell or enter a long-term lease with a beginning, veteran, or socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher who plans to sustainably farm or ranch the land.

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