Conservation Reserve Program is regionally concentrated

U.S. map showing Conservation Reserve Program total enrolled acres by county in 2022

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) covered 22 million acres of environmentally sensitive land at the end of fiscal year (FY) 2022, with an annual budget of roughly $1.8 billion. This made CRP the USDA’s largest single conservation program in terms of spending in FY 2022. Enrollees receive annual and other payments (such as partial reimbursement for cover establishment and incentive payments for enrollment and certain practices) for taking eligible land out of production for at least 10 years. Program acreage tends to be concentrated on marginally productive cropland that is susceptible to erosion by wind or rainfall. A large share of CRP land ranges from Texas to Montana across the Great Plains, where rainfall is limited and much of the land is subject to potentially severe wind erosion. Smaller concentrations of CRP land are found in eastern Washington, southern Iowa, northern Missouri, the Mississippi Delta, southeastern Idaho, and northwestern Utah. This chart is drawn from Ag and Food Statistics: Charting the Essentials, published in January 2023.

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