Conservation Reserve Program Transition Incentives Program Up and Running - Farm Bill Help Line Open to Assist Producers

Release Date: 

Lyons, NE - Farmers and landowners now have the opportunity to participate in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Transition Incentives Program.
Under the CRP Transition Incentives Program, landowners who are in the process of retiring from agriculture and whose CRP contract is coming to an end can receive two years of additional CRP rental payments after the contract expires for land that is transferred to a beginning or socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher who will use sustainable or organic grazing, crop production or mixed cropping-grazing systems to bring the land into production.  The land may be sold or under contract to be sold to the beginning or minority farmer or rancher, or may be leased to the new farmer or rancher under a long-term (at least 5 years) lease agreement.

"We are pleased to see this 2008 Farm Bill Provision is up and running. Access to land is one of the greatest barriers for beginning farmers and ranchers and we believe this provision will help them in their quest to get started in agriculture," noted Traci Bruckner, Assistant Policy Director of the Center for Rural Affairs.  "This provision will not only help beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers gain access to land, but it will also help maintain the conservation benefits the CRP provided as they have to bring that land back into production under an approved conservation plan. This is a far better option than letting all CRP land that is not re-enrolled go to the highest bidder," continued Bruckner.

The new rule released last Friday offers an opportunity to those who wanted to use the program last year but were not able to as FSA failed to get the CRP Transition option implemented during 2008-2009. "With another 15 million acres of CRP ground with contracts expiring between 2010 and 2012, the important thing now is for FSA to work hard to publicize and do outreach on the program - we are certainly going to join them in that effort," added Bruckner.

Landowners looking to help a beginning or socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher by leasing or selling their land when it expires from the CRP should contact their local Farm Service Agency to take advantaged of this provision. Landowners should also contact the Center for Rural Affairs LandLink program. The Center for Rural Affairs and other organizations across the country operate these linking programs to connect retiring farmers and ranchers with beginners. To learn more about the Center's Land Link program, contact Wyatt Fraas by phone at (402) 254-6893 or send an email to

The Center for Rural Affairs is also hosting a Farm Bill Helpline to answer questions about this CRP Transition Incentives Program and other conservation programs.

"The Center for Rural Affairs has a long history of assisting family farmers and ranchers to access new conservation programs," Bruckner added. "Through our helpline you will speak with someone who is knowledgeable about the program rules to help you understand how to participate in the program." Call (402) 687-2100 and ask for the Farm Bill Helpline or send an email to