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USDA Conservation Programs Sorting Out the Pieces: A Conference for Women Landowners Protecting Your Farm’s Soil & Water March 1, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "USDA Conservation Programs Sorting Out the Pieces: A Conference for Women Landowners Protecting Your Farm’s Soil & Water March 1, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 USDA Conservation Programs Sorting Out the Pieces: A Conference for Women Landowners Protecting Your Farm’s Soil & Water March 1, 2013

2 USDA Conservation Programs CRP: Conservation Reserve Program (General) CCRP: Continuous CRP WHIP: Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program EQIP: Environmental Quality Incentive Program WRP: Wetland Reserve Program

3 USDA Conservation Programs CRP: Conservation Reserve Program (General) Rental Payments! CCRP: Continuous CRP WHIP: Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program EQIP: Environmental Quality Incentive Program WRP: Wetland Reserve Program

4 General CRP Must Meet Eligibility Requirements, see your local FSA Office. Base Eligibility – Owned the land for 1 year (with some exceptions) – Required Cropping History, 4 out of 6 years ( ) Other Requirements – Tract must have EI greater than 8 or Tract must be expiring CRP or Tract must be located in CRP Conservation Priority Area NEW! FSA is now counting planted alfalfa and other multi-year grass and legume rotations within the last 12 years as cropping history

5 CRP participants must be in compliance with the Federal Crop Insurance Reform Act. If the average AGI from non-farm income exceeds $1 million, then the participant is ineligible for CRP benefits unless percent of more come from farming, ranches or forestry operations. AGI is based on year of contract approval. Other requirements

6 Mid Contract Management – Producers will be required to perform Mid Contract Management activities which could include burning, disking, inter-seeding or spraying once mid way in the term of the contract. – These activities will be cost shared at 50% not to exceed $50/acre. CRP General Signup

7 Priority Areas for Iowa

8 Why plant native prairie grasses and wildflowers? They do a better job at holding the soil in place, improving water quality and providing diverse wildlife habitat. Adding wildflowers to a mix of native grasses improves the insect population, adds structural diversity to the stand, increases aesthetics, and returns the site to its natural heritage.

9 Why Plant Trees? Planting trees is a permanent land use change that provides wildlife habitat, improves water quality, and can be an investment for future generations.

10 USDA Conservation Programs CRP: Conservation Reserve Program (General) CCRP: Continuous CRP (Rental Payments) WHIP: Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program EQIP: Environmental Quality Incentive Program WRP: Wetland Reserve Program

11 Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CCRP)Continuous (CCRP) Establishes long-term conservation practices (10 to 15 years) Continuous, voluntary sign-up with cost-share assistance and annual rental payments (Signup and Practice Incentive Payments) Offers are automatically accepted, no competitive offer process CCRP is driven by practices rather than by land types Cropland planted 4 out of 6 years eligible ( )

12 Continuous Conservation Reserve Program Continuous Filter Strips (CP-21) Shallow Water Areas (CP-9) Upland Habitat Buffers (CP-33) Field Windbreaks (CP-5A) Farmable Wetland Program (CP-27,28) Living Snow Fence (CP-17A)

13 Shallow Water Areas (CP-9)

14 Filter Strips (CP-21)

15 USDA Conservation Programs CRP: Conservation Reserve Program (General) CCRP: Continuous CRP (Rental Payments) WHIP: Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (Cost Share Rates) EQIP: Environmental Quality Incentive Program WRP: Wetland Reserve Program

16 WHIP: Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (Cost Share Rates)

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18 Only available on private land. No 1-year ownership requirement. No acreage minimum or maximum. Cannot be on other federal program land. $30,000 max cost share. Application requirements

19 WHIP Categories Forestry (15%) – Majority of woodland practices. Grassland (30%) – All grassland related practices. Riverine (15%) – Trout streams in Northeast and Topeka Shiner streams. Wildlife Habitat (35%) – Variety of woodland and upland practices. Education (5%) – Little utilized category.

20 Tree Planting

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22 Prescribed Burning

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24 Cost-share for most WHIP practices is: 60% of Average Cost

25 USDA Conservation Programs CRP: Conservation Reserve Program (General) CCRP: Continuous CRP (Rental Payments) WHIP: Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (Cost Share Rates) EQIP: Environmental Quality Incentive Program (Cost Share Rates) WRP: Wetland Reserve Program

26 Voluntary Signup is continuous Offers financial cost share and technical assistance to install or implement structural, vegetative, and management practices on eligible agricultural lands. Involves a Conservation Planning Process Applications are ranked based on national, state, and local criteria or priorities EQIP requires each DC to work with the Locally Led Work Group to establish priority resource concerns, practices, and a ranking process to prioritize applications for funding. EQIP (Environmental Quality Incentive Program)

27 Funding For These Resource Concerns: Surface and sub-surface water quality related to excessive nutrient & organics related to livestock production or CAFOs. Plant condition and management to protect/improve pastureland and soil erosion. Wildlife management to protect at risk wildlife species. EQIP funds distributed to each NRCS FO based on the following: Percent of ag land with impaired waters (see map of 303(d) listings) Number of livestock in the county Soil types with a Land Capability Class IIe or higher Acres needing wildlife habitat conservation practices

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29 USDA Conservation Programs CRP: Conservation Reserve Program (General) CCRP: Continuous CRP (Rental Payments) WHIP: Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (Cost Share Rates) EQIP: Environmental Quality Incentive Program (Cost Share Rates) WRP: Wetland Reserve Program

30 Program Purpose Restore, Protect, and Enhance Wetlands on eligible lands while maximizing wildlife. Includes improving habitat for – Migratory birds, – Wetland dependent wildlife – T & E species

31 Program Objectives Protection and improvement of water quality Attenuation of floodwater Groundwater recharge

32 WRP Enrollment Options Permanent Easement for those landowners who want to permanently set aside farmland or rangeland / pasture 30 year Easements 75% of Easement Value 75% cost share to restore 10 year cost share agreements 75% cost share Not an easement simply cost share & 10 year contract

33 Land Eligibility Farmland or Pasture land within floodplain meeting 50% hydric soils. Farmland or Pastureland non-floodplain meeting 20% hydric soils Land must be restorable – 3 criteria to consider: hydric soils, vegetation, hydrology

34 Many more programs available!! Start by contacting your county NRCS Office in USDA Service Center! Call a Private Lands Biologist or person assigned to your county: Wildlife Specialist; PF Farm Bill Biologist; or, AmeriCorps Member! Or, go to the web: (IDNR) (Iowa NRCS)

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36 Consider Programs that fit your Land! Consider programs that provide a rental payment or permanent easement first – CRP (must own for 1 year) – WRP (must own for 7 years) Consider cost share only programs next. – Government programs (REAP, Prairie Partners, TCRP, etc.) – Non-government organizations

37 COST SHARE PLANTING NATIVES – DNR, PF, WHIP BURNING – WHIP TSI – REAP, EQIP, WHIP, EQIP TREE PLANTING – TCRP, REAP FOOD PLOTS – PF, NWTF POND – EQIP Other Cost Share Opportunities PRAIRIE RESTORATION –WHIP, REAP WETLAND RESTORATION – USFWS Partners Program

38 PARTNERS Help Make It Happen!


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