All CRP contracts come to an end, but that doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to the program. Even if your initial plan was to return to crop production after you contract expires, you may come to realize it isn’t the best idea for your situation.
After all, reverting CRP back to crop production is a very involving process with no guarantees. The land will likely underperform in its first year or two, and there’s a chance it could revert to a marginal state if pushed too hard. You’re also undoing much of the positive impact CRP made on your soil, local water supplies, and surrounding wildlife.
For these reasons and more, many CRP contract holders ultimately look to reenroll at least a portion of their land back in CRP when their contract expires.
How to Reenroll in CRP
In order to reenroll in CRP, enrollment must be open for either general CRP or Continuous CRP. While general CRP enrollment happens during select periods, Continuous CRP enrollment is ongoing as long as there are acres available.
Reenrollment essentially works the same as the original process, though you’ll likely find it easier the second time around.
For general CRP, you will still apply under a bidding system. Your land will be ranked based on the Environmental Benefits Index. This includes:
- Wildlife habitat benefits
- Water quality benefits
- On-farm soil-retention benefits
- Benefits that will likely endure beyond the contract period
- Air quality benefits
Because FSA accepts the bids with the highest environmental benefits per dollar spent, already being enrolled and having CRP established can act in your favor.
For Continuous CRP, you are automatically accepted as long as there are acres available and your land qualifies for a continuous CRP practice. With reenrollment, the NRCS is not required to determine the need, feasibility, or suitability of your land, but they do need to ensure that the current land is functioning properly and meets the current practice standards.
The process for getting your land in order for your new contract varies depending on the current condition of the land. Reseeding may be needed and weed control will likely be required as well.
Can I Change My Conservation Practice (CP)?
Some landowners choose to enroll their land in a different conservation practice once their contract ends. For example, if they previously were enrolled in a native grasslands CP, they may choose to establish a pollinator habitat instead.
This allows for them to enjoy the unique benefits of pollinator habitat without undoing the progress that’s been made with their native grasses and forbs.
If you’re looking to convert existing CRP to another practice, or you’re planning on enrolling new land in CRP, FDCE can help. At FDCE, we provide full-service CRP solutions that handle selecting and buying CRP seed mixes, planting the seed, applying herbicide, and documenting all activity. When we’re done, we’ll provide the necessary reports to FSA so you receive your maximum cost-share reimbursement as soon as possible.
Contact us today and see just how simple it can be to establish CRP.