USDA Publishes Final Rule on Agricultural Conservation Easement Program

USDA published a Final Rule that updates the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), as directed by the 2018 Farm Bill. The Final Rule incorporates public comments made on an interim rule. Updates to ACEP address revised definitions for beginning farmer or rancher, eligible land, farm or ranch succession plan, future viability and maintenance to provide additional clarity, especially around succession planning. In addition, updates to ACEP’s agricultural land easements component incorporated priority for lands enrolled in the Transition Incentives Program, clarified the non-federal match requirements, and updated regulatory language.