The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) runs a program called the Continuous Sign-up Conservation Reserve Program (CCRP) that provides farmers with rental payments on land set-aside for conservation buffers for a period of 10-15 years. Cost-share payments also made available to help farmers with the financial burden of establishing the buffers.
On Friday, February 26, FSA announced at the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) annual conference, the launch of a new conservation option for organic farmers – cost-share and land rental payments for field border buffers through the CCRP. The organic buffer initiative, which aims to establish up to 20,000 acres of new conservation buffers, will begin next month.
Through CCRP, FSA pays farmers to install partial field conservation practices, primarily conservation buffers or wildlife habitat. Farmers and landowners may enroll such land at any time rather than waiting for specific sign-up periods. Unlike the general sign-ups that occur under CCRP’s parent program (CRP), there is no bidding and ranking; the land is enrolled automatically if it meets the eligibility criteria.
CCRP eligible practices include: riparian buffers, wildlife habitat buffers, wetland buffers, filter strips, wetland restoration, grass waterways, shelterbelts, windbreaks, living snow fences, contour grass strips, salt tolerant vegetation, and shallow water areas for wildlife."
For details visit National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC): http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/organic-field-border-buffers/