CRP Compliance Guidelines
Mississippi has more land enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) than any other state in the Southeast United States – about one-third of the Southeast’s total CRP acreage to be exact.
The Farm Service Agency (FSA) wants you to be aware of the following guidelines if you have land in the CRP. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your local FSA office BEFORE you take action, sign a contract or enter into any agreement concerning your contract acres. The following guidelines are not all the requirements of CRP contracts. Each contract has a conservation plan specific to your contract acres.
First, clear cutting CRP trees is prohibited. It is a violation of the contract and requires a full refund with interest of all payments received plus liquidated damages. If you wish to thin your CRP tree acreage, you must first file a request with the county office and receive approval. There is no payment reduction for thinning if you have received approval.
If you wish to sell or otherwise convey ownership of your land, even to family, under the CRP contract, please contact the county office prior to doing so. If the new owner does not assume the contract, the original contract holder must refund, with interest, all payments received plus liquidated damages. This is expensive! The new owners will have 60 days from the date of transfer to assume the existing contract.
The primary nesting season for the CRP is April 1 – August 15 of each year. During this time, no mowing of CRP grass is allowed. No burning is allowed during this time on CRP acreage.
CRP contracts with grass as the eligible cover CANNOT be hayed or grazed except under certain conditions and then only after it has been requested and APPROVED by FSA. DO NOT hay or graze CRP land unless you have an approval in hand to do so.
CRP approved cover cannot be destroyed for ponds/lake, house sites, roads, etc. If you plan to build anything that requires destruction of the approved cover, contact the county office BEFORE beginning the work. You MAY be eligible to buy out a portion of the contract rather than risk a contract violation.
Areas of trees destroyed by hurricanes, Southern pine beetle, tornadoes, wildfire or other reasons beyond your control are handled on a case-by-case basis. If you have any tree losses such as these, contact the county office.
Please contact the county FSA office BEFORE you sign any contracts, accept any funds or allow any work to start on your land for the construction of any of the following: new cell or communication tower, pipeline, power line or public road.
About Chris Elkins
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