Administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA), CRP provides annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to producers who take marginal cropland out of production and restore it to wildlife habitat. CRP is a voluntary program available to agricultural producers, which helps them safeguard environmentally sensitive land. The 2008 Farm Bill
lowered the maximum number of acres that could be enrolled in CRP by approximately 7 million acres, from 39 million to 32 million acres. More than 1.5 million acres have expired since 2007 in the Prairie Pothole Region
, one of the most important breeding areas for waterfowl in North America. Most of the land enrolled in CRP on the prairies consists of large contiguous blocks of grassland interspersed with numerous wetlands. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that in recent years CRP land in the Prairie Pothole Region has annually added more than 2 million ducks to the fall flight of waterfowl. Though it is apparent that CRP is a critical component of the landscape in the Prairie Pothole Region, this program is currently under threat. Therefore, it's vital that acres lost through recent CRP contract expirations are replaced and the current level of CRP acres in the Prairie Pothole Region is maintained or expanded in the future.