Pilot Program Offers 30-Year CRP Contract

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has announced a pilot program that offers farmers and landowners in the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay regions an opportunity to enroll in a 30-year Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contract. The CLEAR30 program is available in Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. The program signup period will run from July 6 to August 21, 2020. Eligible producers must have expiring Clean Lakes, Estuaries and Rivers (CLEAR) initiative contracts, including continuous CRP Cropland contracts with water-quality practices or marginal pasturelands CRP contracts devoted to riparian buffers, wildlife habitat buffers, or wetland buffers. Annual rental payment for landowners who enroll in CLEAR30 will be equal to the current Continuous CRP annual payment rate plus an inflationary adjustment of 27.5%, since CLEAR30 contracts will be for 30 years—much longer than the 10- to 15-year contracts for Continuous CRP offers.