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Grassland Reserve Program

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The GRP is a voluntary conservation program administered by the USDA's NRCS that helps landowners protect grazing uses and related conservation values by conserving grassland, including rangeland, pastureland, shrub land, and other landscapes. GRP provides support for working grazing operations, enhancement of plant and animal biodiversity, and protection of grassland under threat of conversion to other uses. Participating landowners voluntarily limit future development and cropping uses of the land while retaining the right to conduct common grazing practices and operations related to the production of forage and seeding, subject to certain restrictions during nesting seasons. In the 2008 Farm Bill, the amount of land that could be enrolled in GRP was increased by 1.22 million acres, and the USDA was authorized to enter into cooperative agreements with landowning entities to enable them to acquire easements. Unfortunately, the demand from farmers and ranchers in the Prairie Pothole Region far exceeds the program's available funding. Furthermore, GRP will also suffer the same fate as the Wetlands Reserve Program unless additional acres are authorized in the next Farm Bill.
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