Looking to enroll or just recently enrolled land in CRP? If you’re new to the program, it’s natural to have a few questions. The Conservation Reserve Program has a number of specific requirements that contract holders must follow, including what seed is used, how it’s planted, and how it’s maintained.
Before you get too far along in the process, it’s important to understand just what it takes to establish CRP on your land. We’ve put together a brief overview of the items, equipment, and processes you’ll need to know about to ensure successful CRP establishment.
Quality CRP Seed
Once you’ve enrolled in a Conservation Practice, you’ll need a seed mix that meets your program’s requirements. While a number of seed retailers advertise “CRP seed”, not all mixes are created equal. You’ll want to make sure you buy quality CRP seed mixes. This will greatly increase your chances of successful germination and establishment.
Make sure to purchase seed base on pure live seed, PLS. Your seed will be delivered based on bulk weight and it will indicate the germination rate. You will have to do a calculation using germination rate and bulk weight so you can make sure you are planting the correct PLS pounds per acre.
The seed should be inspected and tested for noxious weeds such as Palmer amaranth, as well.
With the seed ready to be planted, it’s time to prepare the land. Preparing your farmland for CRP is a multi-step process that can look a little different depending on the condition of the land, what was planted before, and what CP you are enrolled in.
Generally, however, it will involve herbicide application, mowing, and potentially burning the field to remove leftover crop and weeds.
CRP native seed is best established using no-till planting equipment that is specifically designed for planting warm season grasses and forbs. Trying to utilize your normal farm machinery can cause your equipment to get clogged and backed up, leaving you with broken equipment and unplanted seed.
Even with the right machinery, you’ll need to make sure that it’s calibrated correctly. Calibration is specific to your CP, field conditions, seed type and rate, weather, and more. The wrong settings can result in seed that’s planted too deep or at the incorrect rate.
It is critical that your CRP seed is planted correctly from the start. It can take a while for CRP vegetation to show. You may not see any growth in the first year, even when it’s properly planted. By planting it incorrectly, you could lose over a year of progress as you wait to see that germination has failed.
An Herbicide Plan
Herbicide application is an important part of CRP. Left unchecked, weeds can and will prevent your CRP seeds from germinating and thriving. Not only is it recommend that you apply herbicide before planting your seed mixes, you may have conduct spot treatments on noxious weeds after planting.
Herbicide plans are unique to each field, as they need to be designed to kill the specific types of weeds you’re dealing with.
As you can see, establishing CRP is a unique and delicate process. That is why it is vital for new enrollees to have professional guidance. At FDCE, we have been professionally establishing and managing CRP since 2003. We have the tools, knowledge, and resources to ensure that the job is done correctly.
That’s why farmers and landowners entrust us to handle the entire establishment process for them.
Our turn-key CRP solutions include purchasing the CRP seed, planting the seed mixes, and applying herbicide. We also handle the documentation and reporting submission aspects, which can be particularly confusing for new CRP enrollees. When we’re done, we’ll provide a copy to you and FSA so that you can receive your maximum cost-share reimbursement in a timely manner.
With FDCE at your side, the only thing you really need to establish CRP is us. Contact us today.