Conservation Reserve Program (CRP)
Due to changes in the 2008 Farm Bill, many ranchers and farmers across Colorado's eastern plains have wondered about their options as they make decisions on how they will use over two million acres of grasslands that were established under the USDA-Farm Service Agency's Conservation Reserve Program. The contracts on these lands are expiring between 2009 and 2013, and due to changes in the 2008 Farm Bill, agricultural producers having these grasslands will have very limited opportunity to re-enroll these lands in the CRP.
If a large portion of these expiring CRP acres go back to cropland, Colorado will lose many of the important conservation benefits accrued over the lifetime of the contracts that established these grasslands including reduced soil erosion and improved wildlife habitat. However, if some of the expiring CRP lands are kept in grass and managed for other uses, many of the conservation benefits realized during the CRP contracts could be maintained or enhanced.
On May 14 and 15, 2009, CRP Summits were held in Fort Morgan and Lamar, respectively, to give landowners the most current information about the Conservation Reserve Program and to offer options for producers interested in keeping CRP-contracted lands in grass after the expiration of these contracts. The Colorado State Conservation Board and Colorado Association of Conservation Districts coordinated these meetings, bringing together experts from various agencies and organizations to discuss the varied options available for agricultural producers to consider as they make their land use decisions concerning these CRP grasslands.
Programs for each CRP Summit site are posted to show the presentations and the professionals involved in making them. The PowerPoint presentations used by each presenter are posted for your review.
Click on the blue links below to open the documents/presentations.