The Conservation Reserve Program is a great way to make a profit on marginal farmland while also restoring it back to health. However, it comes with a number of regulations and requirements that need to be followed. Some of these are fairly straight forward, while others can be a little confusing, especially when you’re initially joining the program.
It’s the paperwork.
In order to receive cost-share reimbursement for your expenses and establishment costs, you’ll need to make sure everything is properly documented and itemized. While that might not sound that complicated, it can result in a lot of confusion and frustration. As a company that is very experienced in establishing CRP, we thought we’d share some guidance for properly documenting your establishment expenses.
Follow the Rules and Ask Questions
It is in the best interest of everyone to get your reporting done correctly from the start. FSA has fairly strict guidelines that cover not just what you document but how it’s documented. Failure to follow the rules will result in having to redo your paperwork and resubmit it. You could also end up missing out on some of your reimbursement.
Speaking directly to your local FSA office and asking questions as you go can save you a lot of headaches.
Know Your Components
Costs for CRP are itemized and divided into separate categories called components. It’s important to organize these correctly, as components are reimbursed differently. Some operate under a percentage-based rate, while others have a flat-rate reimbursement. Common components include planting costs, seed purchasing, mowing, herbicide, and more.
Each component has a Not-to-Exceed cap (known as an NTE). For example, the planting component might have a $14 per acre NTE. Any cost over $14 falls entirely on you.
It’s common for people to quickly max out certain components while leaving others partially empty. With a proper understanding of components, however, this situation can be avoided, and you can keep within NTEs on most, if not all components. This results in you getting more money back.
Buy Properly Tagged Seed
Documenting and organizing seed costs can be one of the trickiest parts of CRP reporting. CRP seed is a percentage-based component. CRP seed mixes are made up of a variety of seeds, and different seed mixes can actually have different reimbursement rates.
Any CRP seed mixes that you purchase should come with proper, accurate seed tags. These will provide a breakdown of what’s in your mix so that you can fill out reporting correctly. Additionally, you will need to include the seed tags with your paperwork submission as proof.
At All Native Seed, our seed tags are accurate and easy to follow. Not only are they included in all purchases, but we keep electronic records of all mixes sold. That way, if you lose your tags, we can easily get you replacements.
If you’re looking to purchase high-quality, appropriately tagged CRP seed mixes, you can browse our offerings here. We can also give a quote for a seed plan developed by NRCS. Alternatively, our parent company can handle the entire establishment process for you including paperwork and reporting. FDCE provides full-service CRP solutions that practically pay for themselves due to the cost-share aspects of CRP.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to make CRP establishment simpler for everyone.