USDA Encourages Producers Participating in Conservation Reserve Program to Consider Forest Management Incentive

USDA Encourages Producers Participating in Conservation Reserve Program to Consider Forest Management Incentive

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is offering financial assistance to agricultural producers and private landowners enrolled in its Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to improve the health of their forests. The Forest Management Incentive, available through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), can help participants with forest management practices, such as brush management and prescribed burning.

“Healthy forests offer many benefits, from providing habitat for wildlife to sequestering carbon,” said FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux. “Through the Forest Management Incentive, USDA’s Farm Service Agency provides an additional forest improvement tool to producers participating in the Conservation Reserve Program. This incentive enhances the Conservation Reserve Program’s environmental benefits and helps protect our country’s natural resources.”

The Forest Management Incentive is available to participants with active CRP contracts with forest cover that are not within two years of expiring. The incentive is a payment to eligible CRP participants who properly completed authorized forest management practice activities to improve the condition of resources, promote forest management and enhance wildlife habitat.

Forest management practices include brush management, herbaceous weed control, prescribed burning, firebreaks, development of early successional habitat and forest stand improvement. Additional information is available in our Forest Management Incentive fact sheet.

Participants can now submit offers for the Forest Management Incentive. Interested producers should contact the FSA at their local USDA Service Center.

The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (Pub. L. 117-169) and the Further Continuing Appropriations and Other Extensions Act, 2024 (Pub. L. 118-22), extended the authority and provided funding for the Forest Management Incentive until 2031. The Forest Management Incentive was launched in 2020 and is one of the many natural resource conservation options available through CRP. Currently, the Forest Management Incentive has participants in 27 states.

Since 2021, USDA has seen a significant increase in enrollment and interest in CRP, which is a critical part of the Department’s efforts to support climate-smart agriculture and forestry on working lands. In October, USDA announced it issued more than $1.77 billion to 667,000 agricultural producers and landowners for 23 million acres of private land enrolled in CRP. Producers not currently participating in CRP can now submit offers for Continuous CRP. Learn more.

Signed into law in 1985, CRP is one of the largest voluntary private-lands conservation programs in the United States. Originally intended to primarily control soil erosion and potentially stabilize commodity prices by taking marginal lands out of production, the program has evolved over the years, providing many conservation and economic benefits.

 

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