USDA ERS Chart Detail

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General enrollment in the USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) allows landowners and producers to retire eligible farmland with a history of agricultural production in exchange for payment. Landowners and growers can select one or more practices that they agree to establish for the duration of a 10-15 year contract, if chosen for registration. Practices receive different points based on the Environmental Benefits Index (EBI), which incorporates the expected impact of the chosen cover practice on wildlife benefits and carbon sequestration, as well as the anticipated sustainability of that cover. impact. Landowners and growers who choose a hedging practice worth more points have a higher probability of acceptance. In 2020, over 80% of re-listing bids and over 90% of bids on land not previously listed on the CRP chose a practice other than the lowest-rated practice, low-diversity non-native grasses. The most common practice is that of native grasses and other high-diversity plants, which provides between 40 and 70 additional points over the practice of low-diversity non-native grasses, while only requiring the use of native species and slightly higher species richness and complexity. Grassland practices (native and non-native grass practices) are the most common group of practices, followed by wildlife practices (wildlife and rare and declining habitat practices). Pollinator habitat is rarely the only practice offered. Arboriculture practices are relatively rare. This graph is taken from the report Cover Practice Definitions and Incentives in the Conservation Reserve Program published by the USDA Economic Research Service, February 23, 2022.

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