Monarch Conservation Toolbox

Incentive Programs

Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)

Unites States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA)

Country
United States

Region
Midwest

Land Use / Land Cover
General Agriculture

Agency Type
Federal

Target or Affiliated Species or Habitat
Pollinators

Publication Type
Report, Website/web hub

Original Language
English

Years of Implementation
Ongoing

These resources provide information regarding an incentive identified in the Monarch Butterfly Habitat Development Project report (USDA NRCS 2015), the USDA FSA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). CRP is also identified as a federal incentive contributing to pollinator conservation by Stine et al. (2015), CRP lands will be targeted to a lesser degree than other federal incentives under this project, and practices will focus on enhancement of existing milkweed and increasing nectar plants for fall migration, particularly through prescribed burning and mowing (USDA NRCS 2015). This program is administered by the Farm Service Agency, with support for conservation planning and implementation provided by NRCS. The program is available to landowners with cropland in environmentally sensitive areas (highly erodible, wetland, or streamside) (Stine et al. 2015). CRP provides direct financial payments for conservation practices, including CP-42-Pollinator Habitat Establishment.

More than 10 practices provide benefits to pollinators, like monarchs, including conversion of land to grassland, wildlife plantings, strips or buffers. Two types of CRP enrollment are available through a local FSA office. General CRP is a competitive process with associated limitations, while continuous CRP is available at any time. To qualify for CRP, land generally must either be “Cropland (including field margins) that is planted to an agricultural commodity 4 of the previous 6 crop years from 2008 to 2013, and which is physically and legally capable of being planted in a normal manner to an agricultural commodity; or certain marginal pastureland that is suitable for use as a riparian buffer or for similar water quality purposes.” Multiple practices may provide monarch habitat, though the most appropriate practice is CP-42 – Pollinator Habitat Establishment.

The contract, CRP-1, is a 10- to 15-year commitment, with an option for voluntary withdrawal by a farmer at any point. The contract may also be terminated under land transfers or violations of the terms and conditions by an owner or operator. Up to 50% of the eligible establishment cost is funded by FSA. Some practices are also eligible for a Performance Incentive Payment (PIP) of up to 40% of installation costs, if eligible. The annual rental payment is based on the soil rental rate, and non–cost share payments per contract are limited to a maximum of US$50,000 annually. Certain activities are generally prohibited on CRP lands, including mowing for aesthetic reasons; mowing is allowed only for weed control and is limited to one-fifth of total CRP acreage annually (USDA FSA 2016a). Under CP-42, farmers are eligible for a signing incentive payment (SIP) up to US$150 per 0.4 hectares (1 acre) (USDA FSA 2016b).

CP-38 State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement (SAFE) is an initiative within CRP that, as of July 2015, includes 98 approved projects specific to certain geographic areas in the US and Puerto Rico. Although no SAFE projects specifically target monarch butterflies, several focus on native grasslands, prairies and pollinators, in multiple regions. Funding for new projects may also become available over time. Projects differ in target species, geography and number of acres funded (USDA FSA 2015).

Amount of the Incentive
50% of establishment cost and sign-up incentive (SIP) up to US$150 per 0.4 hectares (1 acre). Performance Incentive Payment (PIP) of up to 40% of installation costs if eligible. Annual rental payment based on soil rental rate. Maximum of US$50,000 for non-cost share payments annually per contract.

Related Institutional Objectives or Targets
Pollinator Habitat Initiative, US Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill)

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