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CRP - Where are we at? Oct 2021

October 29, 2021 by

Don't expect high pheasant numbers without high CRP enrollment.  We're certainly off the historic highs that make South Dakota pheasant hunting famous.  Here's the latest status and where we are headed:

  • USDA report ending Sept 30, 2021 - 20.6 million acres enrolled nationally
  • Current Farmbill CRP enrollment Cap - 27 million acres (to be accomplished by 9/30/2023)
  • 5.3 million acres were signed up in 2021.  2.5 million of that came for new Grasslands signups (meaning lands already in grass cover (pasture or old CRP).  Keep in mind this sounds good but does not directly account for all the CRP acres expiring at the end of 2021:)
  • USDA reports we will start off 2022 with 22.9 million acres enrolled leaving room to reach FY 2022 CAP of 25.5 million acres.
  • Latest USDA CRP News Release 9/10/2021

Executive Summary

  • Conversion of production cropland to CRP is what is critical here.  Grasslands signups are not conversion's but protections of existing which is important but will not provide gains in carbon battle or wildlife nesting battle.
  • Major Factor - Chemically intensive and progressive production agriculture.  There is no offset for this other that conversion of these acres to CRP.
  • There is a National Pheasant Management Plan that encompasses 20 states in total.  Their goal for CRP is 50 million acres.
  • USDA Launches first phase of soil carbon monitoring of CRP
  • All-time high CRP enrollment occurred in 2007 at 37 million acres.  We are now at the all-time low (20.6M)

Authors Opinions

  • 2021's drought will rival 2017 & 2012 when pheasant numbers were impacted dramatically due to poor hatch and high mortality.
  • The National Pheasant Plan notes that wildlife numbers are declining faster than expiring CRP acres.
  • CRP is by far the best climate tool on the planet.
  • Looks like in South Dakota, the last signup (56) on produced 12,000 acres of new enrollments.
  • Pheasant numbers will not reach 2007 highs until CRP enrollment also returns to its high of 37M or higher.
  • If the country is serious about this it will need to enroll a minimum of 50M acres but how will you get producers to convert cropland?