Conservation Reserve Program reaches 22 million enrolled acres in 2022

Vertical bar chart showing acres of land (in millions) enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program between 1986 and 2022

USDA's Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) was established by Congress in 1985. By 1986, the program began to use contracts to retire highly erodible cropland from crop production for 10–15 years. Enrollment grew quickly, reaching 33 million acres in 1990. After the initial contracts were awarded, program goals expanded to include water quality and wildlife habitat improvements in addition to soil erosion reduction. Between 1990 and 2008, CRP enrollment fluctuated around 33 million acres before falling to a 30-year low in 2021. Annual enrollment caps for eligible land are set at each iteration of the Farm Bill. As of the end of fiscal year 2022, the CRP acreage rose to 22 million acres after the low in 2021. This chart updates information in the USDA, Economic Research Service report The Fate of Land in Expiring Conservation Reserve Program Contracts, 2013–16, published in January 2020.

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