USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) is accepting sign-ups for a new pilot program that enables farmers in the Prairie Pothole region to receive payments for planting perennial cover for conservation use for three to five years. The new Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Soil Health and Income Protection Program (SHIPP) pilot is available to producers in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Through SHIPP, producers have the option of three-, four-, or five-year CRP contracts to establish perennial cover on less productive cropland in exchange for payments. This pilot enables producers to plant perennial cover that, among other benefits, will improve soil health and water quality while having the option to harvest, hay, and graze during certain times of the year. Up to 50,000 acres can be enrolled.
The signup for this pilot starts March 30 and ends August 21, 2020.