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USDA/FSA RIN: 0560-AI41 Publication ID: Spring 2021 
Title: Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) 

The final rule will finalize the mandatory changes for consistency with the provisions in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (2018 Farm Bill).  The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) assists producers in conserving and improving soil, water, and wildlife resources by converting highly erodible and other environmentally sensitive acreage to a long-term vegetative cover. The core scope of CRP is not changing. In general, the regulatory changes are mandatory; however, there is some discretion on how some of the provisions have been implemented. The 2018 Farm Bill extends and modifies the authorization for CRP through fiscal year (FY) 2023. The CRP acreage cap is increased from 24 million acres to 27 million acres by FY 2023, and includes 8.6 million acres for continuous practices and 2 million acres for grasslands. Two new pilot programs are: the Clean Lakes, Estuaries, and Rivers initiative (CLEAR 30, which has 30-year contracts) and a Soil Health and Income Protection Program (SHIPP). The Farm Service Agency (FSA) expects to target at least 40 percent of continuous CRP acres for the practices considered as Clean Lakes, Estuaries, and Rivers (CLEAR). A proportional, historic State acreage allocation includes a portion of the acres available for enrollment. The 2018 Farm Bill authorizes up to $12 million in incentive payments for tree thinning and related activities and provides additional haying and grazing flexibilities. The final rule will finalize the required changes to the eligibility criteria for enrollment in CRP, the benefits available to participants, and the compliance provisions of CRP. A couple of examples of the discretionary regulatory changes are:  how regional drought concerns are addressed on the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) agreements, and the specific length of SHIPP contracts. CRP is a Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) program administered by FSA.  There were 63 comments submitted in response to the interim rule.  The final rule will address the issues raised in the comments with a minor change.

Agency: Department of Agriculture(USDA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 7 CFR 1410   
Legal Authority: Pub. L. 99-198    Pub. L. 115-334   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
Interim Final Rule  12/06/2019  84 FR 66813   
Interim Final Rule Effective  12/06/2019 
Interim Final Rule Comment Period End  02/04/2020 
Final Rule  11/00/2021 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
Public Comment URL:  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Deirdre Holder
Branch Chief, Regulatory Analysis and PRA Requirements Branch
Department of Agriculture
Farm Production and Conservation Business Center, 1400 Independence Avenue SW,
Washington, DC 20250-0572
Phone:202 205-5851