Bozeman – USDA Farm Service Agency state executive director Bruce Nelson reminds producers about the availability of the Transition Incentives Program (TIP). TIP assists with the transition of expiring Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land from a retired or retiring owner or operator to a beginning, veteran, or underserved farmer or rancher to return land to production for sustainable grazing or crop production.
Enrollment in TIP is on a continuous basis until the total funds authorized for the program are exhausted. As of Aug. 3, Montana had approximately $1.5 million in TIP funds available. Beginning (including veteran) or underserved farmers and ranchers and retired or retiring CRP participants may enroll in TIP during the final year before the scheduled date of CRP contract expiration or on Sept. 30. For example, if a CRP contract is scheduled to expire on Sept. 30, 2015, the land may be enrolled in TIP from Oct. 1, 2014, through Sept. 30, 2015.
Retired or retiring owners or operators participating in TIP may receive up to two additional annual rental payments after their CRP contract expires provided the beginning or underserved farmer or rancher is not a family member.
“CRP participants with land expiring on Sept. 30, 2015, and who are interested in transitioning their land to a beginning or underserved farmer and or rancher should contact the local FSA office right away,” Nelson said. “The deadline to enroll in this year’s CRP Transition Incentive Program is Sept. 30, 2015. Funds are allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis.”
CRP is a voluntary program that contracts with agricultural producers so that environmentally sensitive agricultural land is not farmed or ranched, but instead used for conservation benefits. CRP participants establish long-term, resource-conserving vegetative species, such as approved grasses or trees (known as “covers”) to control soil erosion, improve the water quality, and enhance wildlife habitat. In return, FSA provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance. Continuous sign-up contracts are 10 to 15 years in duration. FSA implements TIP and CRP on behalf of USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC).
For questions about CRP and any FSA program, contact the local FSA service center office and/or visit Montana FSA online at www.fsa.usda.gov/mt.