The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) reduces soil erosion, protects the Nation’s ability to produce food and fiber, reduces sedimentation in streams and lakes, improves water quality, establishes wildlife habitat, and enhances forest and wetland resources. It encourages farmers to convert highly erodible cropland or other environmentally sensitive or native grasses, wildlife plantings, trees, filter strips, or riparian buffers.

Farmers receive an annual rental payment for the terms of the multi-year contract. Cost-sharing is provided to establish the vegetative cover practices. Sign up periods are determined by the Secretary of Agriculture usually once per year.