As Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP, contracts expire, landowners must decide if they should re-enroll acreage, convert it back to farmland or leave it in permanent cover for wildlife and/or grazing, a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist said.
An AgriLife Extension publication, After the Conservation Reserve Program: Economical Decisions with Farming and Grazing in Mind, can help landowners make the necessary decisions, said DeDe Jones, an agency risk management specialist and publication co-author.
In the 2014 farm bill, the maximum CRP acreage was reduced from 32 million to 24 million acres, she said. As a result, landowners with expired contracts may find it difficult to re-qualify for program eligibility.
When it comes to economics, she said converting to dryland wheat or grazing can run between $100-$125 per acre. The cost depends on the amount of tillage and chemicals applied. The cost for converting CRP land to dryland grain sorghum should range between $150-$175 per acre.
“Expect to pay around $975 per mile for one-strand and $1,223 per mile for two-strand electric fencing,” she said. “Barbed wire fencing will cost approximately $10,500 per mile, including gates and corner posts. A well with a solar submersible pump ranges between $13,525 and $23,676, depending on the depth required.”
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