Landowners in 54 Missouri counties can receive $300 per acre in incentive bonuses for enrolling new land in the federal Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), and those with existing CRP contracts could receive payments exceeding $200 for management practices that enhance the value of CRP acres for wildlife.
Private Land Programs Supervisor Lisa Potter with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) says the approximate 1.1 million acres of CRP on the Missouri landscape serves an essential role in the protection and enhancement of Missouri's water quality, soil quality and wildlife habitat. In the past two years alone, Missouri has lost over 200,000 acres of CRP to contract expirations and land use conversions.
Starting Dec. 1, in an effort to increase and enhance the amount of quality wildlife habitat in Missouri, MDC is offering $100 to $150 per acre for new land enrolled in certain CRP practices. The MDC incentives are in addition to $100 to $150 incentive payments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Services Agency (FSA) for new enrollments.
Qualifying CRP practices include CP33 (Habitat Buffers for Upland Birds), CP38 (State Acres for Wildlife Enhancements), CP42 (Pollinator Habitat) and CP23 (Wetland Restoration).
MDC also is offering an additional $18 to $60 per acre for mid-contract management activities, such as prescribed burning, disking, herbicide application and legume or native forb interseeding on existing cool-season grass (CP1) and warm-season grass acres. These payments are in addition to FSA payments for required mid-contract management activities.
Besides all of the foregoing incentives, MDC is offering landowners incentive payments of $100 to $200 for planting or enhancing shrubby cover within or adjacent to CRP land.
"Today, most of Missouri's rural landscape provides little habitat for early successional wildlife such as quail, grassland birds and cottontail rabbits," says Potter. "These special incentives, in combination with CRP, can provide an ideal mix of early successional habitat."
Mid-contract management incentives are available Dec. 1. However, incentives for new CRP acres will not be available until Congress passes or extends the federal farm bill.
Counties included in the offer are: Adair, Andrew, Atchison, Bates, Bollinger, Buchanan, Butler, Caldwell, Cape Girardeau, Cass, Carroll, Chariton, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Dade, Daviess, DeKalb, Dunklin, Franklin, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Holt, Knox, Jackson, Johnson, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Linn, Livingston, Macon, Mercer, Mississippi, Monroe, New Madrid, Nodaway, Pemiscot, Pike, Platte, Putnam, Randolph, Ray, Ripley, St. Charles, Schuyler, Scotland, Scott, Shelby, Stoddard, Sullivan, Vernon and Worth.
More information is available from local MDC private land conservationists (PLCs). To find your PLC, visit the MDC website at mdc.mo.gov and click on the "Local Contact" box.
Source: Missouri Department of Conservation