Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version

March 2001

Document Type



Published in Cornhusker Economics. March 28, 2001. Produced by the Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln .


The Food Security Act of 1985 first authorized the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Since that time CRP has undergone numerous changes with the passage of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act (FACTA) in 1990 and the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act (FAIR) in 1996. Nonetheless, CRP has survived, and today enjoys an enrollment not much smaller (33.4 million acres) than its peak of about 36.4 million acres, nationwide. Most contracts for enrollment in CRP were, and currently still are for 10 years. There are some exceptions such as land enrolled for tree practices and other conservation specific practices, which resulted in 15-year contracts. The initial 10-year contracts have ended and some of the land has reverted to crop production or remained in permanent cover. Yet other acres were re-enrolled into CRP for another 10-year or longer period. Since some contracts were for periods longer than 10 years, Nebraska has a few acres in CRP that were enrolled as early as 1987. Most of the acres still under active contract, enrolled for 1991 or before, are in tree contracts.