FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 1, 2010
For More Information Contact:
Paige Buck, State Public Affairs Specialist, (217) 353.6606
Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) Funds Available in Illinois
Champaign, IL—Illinois USDA Service Centers will accept applications
from eligible landowners for enrollment in the Grassland Reserve Program (GRP).
The purpose of GRP is the preservation and protection of existing healthy,
working grasslands. Illinois NRCS has $817,000 in 2010 GRP funds, which will be
issued though permanent easements and 10, 15, and 20 year rental agreements. GRP
is administered through the coordinated efforts of the Farm Service Agency (FSA)
and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). All GRP producers must be
willing to implement a USDA-approved grazing management plan for the term of
“Interested applicants can sign up for the program at any time,” says Illinois
State Conservationist Bill Gradle. “But the first cut-off and batching period
ends quick—April 9th, 2010.” Additional batching periods will be held every two
weeks after April 9 until all GRP funds have been allocated.
Applicants should submit a form AD-1153 to their nearest NRCS or FSA County
office. Permanent easements are available at the per acre payment rate indicated
on NRCS’ new GRP Geographic Area Rate Cap (GARC) map. These payment rates are
based on location and an up-to-date market analysis. The map can be viewed
www.il.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/grp/index.html. For rental agreements,
applicants can receive $16.50 per acre for each contract year.
“GRP works a lot like CRP, but the land doesn’t sit idle,” Gradle
explains. “As grazers know, good, healthy grasslands feed profitable and healthy
livestock herds. With productive land, a good grazing management plan in place,
sound technical advice, and some good weather; that’s a recipe for success.”
Privately owned lands are eligible for GRP. Applicants must be in compliance
with highly erodible land and wetland provisions of the Farm Bill and all
Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) requirements. Landowners must have clear title for
easement agreements or demonstrate control of the land for the length of the
contract for rental agreements.
“Eligible land includes grassland, rangeland or pastureland,” Gradle explains.
NRCS will process all eligible applications using the established 2010 GRP
Ranking Criteria. Landowners must provide clear title on privately owned lands
to be eligible and to participate under the easement option. Landowners or
lessees who can demonstrate control of the land for the length of the contract
may submit an application for a rental agreement.
To submit your application or learn more about grazing land options and
conservation management tools for grazing operations, visit
www.il.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/grp or call your local NRCS office today.
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