Report examines federal conservation program

The Center for Rural Affairs recently released “Pathways to Land Access,” a report by Anna Johnson with support from Glen Ready. The paper is a study of the Conservation Reserve Program - Transition Incentives Program (CRP-TIP), administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency (USDA-FSA). 

In “Pathways to Land Access,” the authors investigate implementation of CRP-TIP in Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. The program was created by the 2008 Farm Bill. 

“The program allows a retired or retiring landowner who has land enrolled in CRP to receive two additional years of payments if land is transitioned back into production through being sold or leased to a beginning, socially-disadvantaged or veteran farmer or rancher,” Johnson said. “In effect, CRP-TIP creates a pathway for beginning, socially-disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers to access land.” 

Johnson and Ready interviewed FSA state officials, surveyed FSA county employees, and talked with program participants to support recommendations for improving enrollment and usage. 

They found that several factors affect usage: knowledge of the program; the existence, or lack thereof, of a strong relationship between the prospective farmer or rancher and landowner; and the agricultural economy. 

Johnson and Ready outline their findings and recommendations in the report. 

To view a copy of “Pathways to Land Access,” visit www.cfra.org/Pathways-to-Land-Access

This report was conducted under a cooperative agreement with Farm Service Agency, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, Center for Rural Affairs and Dakota Rural Action.