Farm Service Agency

Conservation Programs

The FSA conservation programs help preserve and improve the wealth and promise of America's farmlands.

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) The USDA's most ambitious conservation effort, the CRP was authorized by the Food Security Act of 1985. It targets the most fragile farmland by encouraging farmers to discontinue their crops on certain land designated by soil conservationists, and instead plant a permanent vegetative cover. In return, the farmer receives an annual rental payment for the term of the multi-year contract. Cost shares are also available to help establish the permanent planting of grass, legumes, trees, windbreaks, and wildlife flora.

Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP) The ACP is the primary method of the FSA to help farmers and ranchers nationwide carry out conservation and environmental practices. The program is designed to help alleviate soil, water, and related resource problems through cost sharing. ACP assistance is available to install a variety of soil-saving practices, including terraces, grass cover, sod waterways, and other measures to control erosion. These practices also help farmers reduce sediment, chemicals, and livestock waste that contaminate streams and lakes.

Other Conservation Programs Other programs provide assistance to plant trees to improve timber stands, to prevent the loss of wetlands for migratory waterfowl, and to control nonpoint source water pollution in rural America.

All FSA conservation programs are conducted in cooperation with other federal and state agencies and conservation organizations.

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