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Iowa Ag Review

Abstract

The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a voluntary environmental program for agricultural producers aimed at protecting environmentally sensitive land, improving water quality, limiting soil erosion, and promoting wildlife habitat. The CRP has existed since 1985 and has protected at least 30 million acres nationwide each year since 1990, pulling some acreage out of crop production. Currently, roughly 35.9 million acres are enrolled in the CRP. Producers bid to participate in the CRP and bids are evaluated based on the environmental benefi ts and fi nancial costs of the CRP contracts. Acreage bid into the CRP program is under contract for a set number of years and is planted to “resource-conserving vegetative covers,” such as native grasses and trees.