Understanding the CRP SAFE Initiative

As you may know, there are numerous conservation programs (CPs) within CRP. While all of them serve the same overall goal of improving soil, protecting water, and restoring wildlife habitat, some of them place a special emphasis on one of those three areas. 

The State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement Initiative, better known as SAFE, is a group of programs that focus specially on the restoration of habitat that is vital to wildlife in a particular state. These are typically species that are threatened, endangered, and/declining, often due to the loss of habitat. 

By restoring habitat for these species, populations are able to recover and flourish. This not only benefits the animals, but the local ecosystem as a whole. The loss of any species can create an imbalance, leading to further issues that escalate across time. 

SAFE is a great way to prevent this from happening while also restoring health to your soil and reducing water runoff. 

How to Enroll in CRP SAFE 

The SAFE initiative used to operate under Continuous CRP. During that time, applicants were accepted as long as they met the necessary requirements. Now, however, SAFE falls under general CRP, which means that applicants must submit proposals through a bidding system. 

These bids are then scored according to the Environmental Benefits Index (EBI). To learn more about general CRP enrollment, make sure to read this postEnrolling in SAFE can be advantageous, as it provides extra points to the applicant. 

Which SAFE Practice Should I Choose? 

Within SAFE, there are a number of CPs available. CP-38E focuses on grasslands, making it a great choice for many landowners looking to convert marginal farmland to CRP. Many local species thrive off grasslands, including pheasants, deer, and more.  

Establishing native grasses can also be great for local hunting communities. 

If you’re looking to establish native grasses through CRP, FDCE can help. Our turn-key CRP services make it easy. We’ll handle the CRP seed purchasing, planting, herbicide application, documentation, and report submissions to FSA for cost-share reimbursement.