Grassland Reserve Program - GRP
The Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) is a voluntary conservation program that emphasizes support for working grazing operations, enhancement of plant and animal biodiversity, and protection of grassland under threat of conversion to other uses.
The NRCS, FSA and Forest Service are coordinating implementation of GRP, which helps landowners restore 40 or more contiguous acres of grassland, rangeland, pastureland, shrubland and certain other lands and provides assistance for rehabilitating grasslands. The program will conserve vulnerable grasslands from conversion to cropland or other uses and conserve valuable grasslands by helping maintain viable ranching operations.
Participants voluntarily limit future development and cropping uses of the land while retaining the right to conduct common grazing practices and operations related to the production of forage and seeding, subject to certain restrictions during nesting seasons of bird species that are in significant decline or are protected under Federal or State law. A grazing management plan is required for participants.
The purpose of GRP is to assist landowners and operators to protect grazing uses and related conservation values by conserving and restoring grassland resources on eligible private lands through rental contracts, easements, and restoration agreements.
Eligible land includes privately owned grasslands; land that contains forbs (including improved rangeland and pastureland or shrub land) for which grazing is the predominant use; or land that is located in an area that historically has been dominated by grassland, forbs, or shrub land that has the potential to serve as wildlife habitat of significant ecological value.
To be eligible for GRP an applicant must be a landowner for permanent easement participation, or have control of the eligible acres offered for 10, 15, or 20 year contract participation. In addition the participant must agree to provide such information to USDA that is necessary for determining eligibility for program benefits. The participant will be required to meet adjusted gross income and conservation compliance requirements.
The Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) offers several enrollment options:
- Permanent Easements. USDA makes a payment based on the fair market value of the property less the grazing value.
- Rental Contracts. 10, 15, or 20-year duration. USDA pays 75 percent of the grazing value in annual payments for the length of the agreement.
For program sign-up information, contact John Williamd at the Butler/Hamilton NRCS office at 513-887-3720.