Agriculture USDA Service Center Update

USDA Update – July 20, 2021

Eads USDA Service Center Staff


  • CRP signup dates – General SU 56 – June 14 – July 23; Continuous SU 55 - June 14 - August 6; CRP Grasslands – July 12 – August 20
  • PLIP Signup deadline September 17, 2021. 
  • County Committee Nomination Deadline - August 2, 2021
  • Non-Emergency CRP Haying and Grazing available for eligible acreage subject to payment reduction.   

Disclaimer:  Information in this UPDATE is pertinent to Kiowa County FSA only.  Producers reading this and that do not have FSA interest in Kiowa County are advised to contact their local FSA Office. 


USDA Announces Dates for Conservation Reserve Program Grasslands Signups

Agricultural producers and landowners in Colorado can apply for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Grasslands signup from until August 20. This year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) updated signup options to provide greater incentives for producers and increased the program’s conservation and climate benefits, including setting a minimum rental rate and identifying two national priority zones.

The CRP Grassland signup is competitive, and USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will provide for annual rental payments for land devoted to conservation purposes.

Grasslands Signup

CRP Grasslands helps Colorado landowners and operators protect grassland, including rangeland, and pastureland and certain other lands, while maintaining the areas as working grazing lands. Protecting grasslands contributes positively to the economy of many regions, provides biodiversity of plant and animal populations, and provides important carbon sequestration benefits.

FSA has updated the Grasslands Signup to establish a minimum rental rate of $15 per acre, which will benefit 1,300 counties.

To focus on important wildlife corridors, FSA also identified National Grassland Priority Zones, providing extra incentives to producers for enrolling grasslands in important migratory corridors and environmentally sensitive areas – the Greater Yellowstone Elk Migration Corridor and the Severe Wind Erosion – Dust Bowl Zone. Counties within these two zones get extra ranking points as well as $5 added to their rental rate. The CRP Grasslands Ranking Factors fact sheet has additional information.

How to Sign Up

To enroll in the CRP Grasslands signup, producers and landowners should contact USDA by the August 20 deadline. Service Center staff continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools. Because of the pandemic, some USDA Service Centers are open to limited visitors. Contact your Service Center to set up an in-person or phone appointment. Additionally, more information related to USDA’s response and relief for producers can be found at

This office is expecting many producers will be interested in CRP Grasslands.  Interested producers need to be reminded of the following – 

  • Rental rate for Kiowa County is $20.00 per acre as the county is in the National Grassland Priority zone. 
  • CRP payment limitation is $50,000 per person; the limitation encompasses ALL CRP including Grasslands.  Producers who are maxed out at the $50,000 and if they enroll into the CRP Grasslands and are accepted; could potentially be limited.  
  • If the offer is accepted; NRCS will do a site visit to determine species of grasses and forbs and will determine a grazing plan based on that information.  These grazing plans will have drought management included.  
  • Eligible producer requirements according to Handbook 2-CRP, paragraph 126 must be followed regarding submitting an offer.  If the producer offering the land for enrollment has not owned or operated the land 12 month prior to August 20, 2021; that producer is not considered an eligible producer.  Current operators must show they have control of the land for the duration of the contract to be eligible to submit an offer.    
  • CRP Grassland contract shares will be recorded on the FSA-578 acreage report. If the acreage is leased to another producer on a year to year or AUM basis; the acreage will remain certified on the FSA-578 with the CRP participants for ALL program eligibility.   

USDA to Provide Pandemic Assistance to Livestock Producers for Animal Losses

Livestock and poultry producers who suffered losses during the pandemic due to insufficient access to processing can apply for assistance for those losses and the cost of depopulation and disposal of the animals.  Livestock and poultry producers can apply for assistance through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) July 20 through Sept. 17, 2021.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, authorized payments to producers for losses of livestock or poultry depopulated from March 1, 2020 through December 26, 2020, due to insufficient processing access as a result of the pandemic. PLIP payments will be based on 80% of the fair market value of the livestock and poultry and for the cost of depopulation and disposal of the animal. Eligible livestock and poultry include swine, chickens and turkeys.

PLIP Program Details

Eligible livestock must have been depopulated from March 1, 2020, through December 26, 2020, due to insufficient processing access as a result of the pandemic. Livestock must have been physically located in the U.S. or a territory of the U.S. at the time of depopulation.

Eligible livestock owners include persons or legal entities who, as of the day the eligible livestock was depopulated, had legal ownership of the livestock. Packers, live poultry dealers and contract growers are not eligible for PLIP.

PLIP payments compensate participants for 80% of both the loss of the eligible livestock or poultry and for the cost of depopulation and disposal based on a single payment rate per head.  PLIP payments will be calculated by multiplying the number of head of eligible livestock or poultry by the payment rate per head, and then subtracting the amount of any payments the eligible livestock or poultry owner has received for disposal of the livestock or poultry under the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) or a state program. The payments will also be reduced by any Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP 1 and 2) payments paid on the same inventory of swine that were depopulated.

There is no per person or legal entity payment limitation on PLIP payments. To be eligible for payments, a person or legal entity must have an average adjusted gross income (AGI) of less than $900,000 for tax years 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Applying for Assistance

Eligible livestock and poultry producers can apply for PLIP starting July 20, 2021, by completing the FSA-620, Pandemic Livestock Indemnity Program application, and submitting it to any FSA county office. Additional documentation may be required. Visit for a copy of the Notice of Funding Availability and more information on how to apply.