Grassland Reserve Program sign-up expanded
Huron, SD – The Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) is being offered in two areas of the South Dakota: Area #1 (easement only): Butte, Custer, Fall River, Lawrence, Meade, and Pennington Counties. Area #2 (rental contracts or easement): Aurora, Brule, Buffalo, Campbell, Edmunds, Faulk, Hand, Hughes, Hyde, Jerauld, McPherson, Potter, Stanley, Sully, and Walworth Counties. Landowners in these counties can apply for the GRP which is administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) until August 27, 2010 to be considered for FY2011 funding.
The GRP is a voluntary program that helps producers keep their grazing operation viable and prevents the conversion of grassland to other uses. The program is open to working grazing lands: grasslands, range, pasture, shrubland, and certain other types, and lands under expiring Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts. The GRP is handled jointly by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency and the NRCS. Since the 2008 Farm Bill, South Dakota has enrolled over 20,000 acres.
Participants retain ownership and right to use the land for grazing and associated uses. The aim of the GRP is to conserve grassland resources, promote agricultural stability, improve biodiversity, and protect scenic values. Landowners in Area #1 can apply for permanent easements; landowners in Area #2 can apply for a 10-, 15-, or 20-year rental contract or a permanent easement. Landowners must have an adjusted gross income determination and be in compliance with the USDA highly erodible land and wetland compliance requirements with their local FSA office.
The NRCS is accepting applications for funding on a continuous basis. Interested landowners should contact their local NRCS office prior to August 27, 2010, which is the deadline to apply for Fiscal Year 2011 funds. For further information or applications, contact Mike Kuck at (605) 352-1200 or email@example.com; or Sara Thompson at (605) 352-1200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about GRP, go to http://www.sd.nrcs.usda.gov/.
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