The USDA will soon open signup for a new conservation program called CLEAR30.
It’s a new pilot program that will allow farmers and landowners an opportunity to enroll in a 30-year Conservation Reserve Program contract.
Signup will begin this summer, with farmers in the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay regions eligible to participate.
“This pilot will allow us to work with farmers and landowners to maintain conservation practices for 30 years, which will only underscore farmers’ commitments to sound long-term conservation stewardship on their agricultural land,” says Farm Service Agency Administrator Richard Fordyce. “Through CLEAR30, we can decrease erosion, improve water quality, and increase wildlife habitat on a much longer-term basis.”
The program will be available in Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Traditional CRP contracts run from 10 to 15 years.
The longer contracts will ensure that practices remain in place for 30 years, which will help reduce sediment and nutrient runoff, as well as help to prevent algae blooms.
The official signup period begins on July 6th and runs through August 21st.