WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 3, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced 2 million acres of enrollment into the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Established in 1985, CRP is considered one of the nation's most successful private lands conservation programs and provides millions of sportsmen and women with access to private lands.
CRP is a voluntary program that provides a secure income stream to farmers, ranchers and other landowners as an incentive to establish long-term, resource-conserving cover on their land.
"CRP has long been considered one of the most desirable, successful and effective conservation programs available," said DU CEO Adam Putnam. "While we'd like to see higher enrollment, we understand the voluntary nature of the program ensures it's ultimately responsive to the needs of the agricultural community. Healthy enrollment in CRP is absolutely essential to sportsmen and women and wildlife alike, and we'll continue working with USDA to build support and interest in the program for future enrollment."
The voluntary, incentive-based program is an integral part of the safety net for rural America, both financially and ecologically, and provides a wide range of wildlife, water quality and soil health benefits. The land enrolled in CRP is vital for maintaining waterfowl populations and the wetland and grassland habitats on which they rely. These habitats include critical upland nesting cover for ducks in the Prairie Pothole Region, one of Ducks Unlimited's (DU) highest priority areas, which offers valuable grazing and forage to livestock producers in times of severe drought. In October, nearly 4 million acres are set to cycle out of the program.
"Even when commodity prices are high and market economics point to production, today's enrollment numbers prove there are still producers looking to conserve certain acres," said Al Montna, DU Advisory Senior Vice President for Public Policy. "Land that ecologically belongs in conservation is enrolled in CRP while still providing important economic benefits such as grazing, forage, recreation and valuable ecosystem services like clean water, reduced erosion and improved soil health. That's a testament to the overall flexibility and value of the program."
For more information, visit www.ducks.org, and be sure to follow DU's Twitter feed – @DUNews1937 – to get the most up-to-date news from Ducks Unlimited.
Unlimited Inc. is the world
's largest nonprofit
organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing
waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more
than 15 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million
supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program
efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies
with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work,