USDA Offers CLEAR30 Option for Producers to Enroll Land with Expiring Conservation Contracts

by | Apr 4, 2022 | Ag News, Indiana Agriculture News, News Feed

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing the signup period for its Clean Lakes, Estuaries, And Rivers initiative (CLEAR30) – a nationwide opportunity for certain landowners and agricultural producers currently implementing water quality practices through the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to enroll in 30-year contracts, extending the lifespan and strengthening the benefits of important water quality practices on their land.

Producers may apply for CLEAR30, a voluntary, incentive-based conservation program, from April 1, 2022, through Aug. 5, 2022.

“Farmers, ranchers, and agricultural landowners know better than most that clean water is essential,” said Zach Ducheneaux, Administrator for USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA). “I am proud that, last year, we were able to successfully expand our Clean Lakes, Estuaries, and Rivers initiative nationwide, and I look forward to once again providing producers and landowners with the opportunity to participate in this initiative and build upon their conservation investments for the long-term.”

Cropland and certain pastureland currently enrolled in Continuous CRP or the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and dedicated to an eligible water quality practice such as riparian buffers, contour strips, grass waterways or wetland restoration may be eligible if their contracts are expiring by September 30, 2022.

CLEAR30 contracts will be effective beginning Oct. 1, 2022. These long-term contracts ensure that conservation practices remain in place for 30 years, which improves water quality through reducing sediment and nutrient runoff and helping prevent algal blooms. Conservation in riparian areas also provides important carbon sequestration benefits. Traditional CRP contracts run from 10 to 15 years.

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