The goal of the Grasslands Reserve Program (GRP) is to prevent grazing and pasture land from being converted into cropland, used for urban development, or developed for other non-grazing uses. Participants in the program voluntarily limit future development of their grazing and pasture land, while still being able to use the land for livestock grazing and activities related to forage and seed production. Participation in GRP may also entail restrictions on activities during the nesting season of certain bird species that are in decline or protected under Federal or state law.
Why Is The GRP Important?
GRP helps to maintain grasslands used for grazing, pasture, or seed production to ensure the future availability of feed and to maintain diversity within and across plant species. These grasslands are also critical habitat for many protected bird species such as the lesser prairie chicken.
How Do I Enroll?
The GRP has multiple enrollment options including a rental contract for 10, 15, or 20 years or enrollment of the land in a conservation easement for an indefinite period of time. GRP applications are accepted anytime and enrollment offers are processed through your local FSA office. Offers in this program are ranked against other offers, but only statewide.
Am I Eligible?
To enroll land in a rental contract, applicants must own or have control of the land they wish to enroll in the program for the length of the contract. To enroll in a conservation easement, applicants must own and be willing to restrict use of the land either in perpetuity or under the maximum length of time under state law. Interested landowners should be aware that those with an adjusted gross income over $1 million for the previous 3 tax years are not eligible to receive program payments or benefits. There is an exception, however, in situations where 2/3rd of that income is from farming, ranching, or forestry operations.
Why Should I Enroll?
In addition to improving the environment in multiple ways, those enrolled in GRP receive an annual rental payment for their enrolled acres. FSA also provides cost-sharing and other incentives to help offset the costs associated with putting these practices in place.
For further information about the program, including rental payment information, other eligibility and maintenance criteria, and land requirements, visit your local FSA office.