USDA is currently accepting signups not only for the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program, but also for two subprograms within it – CLEAR, and CLEAR30. The deadline for signups to CLEAR30 is August 5, 2022.
All of these programs operate in the same way, by paying farmers to adopt specific conservation practices.
Unlike the main Conservation Reserve Program, which has specific signup deadlines for each round of funding, the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program accepts signups on an ongoing basis year-round.
Within the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program, the Clean Lakes, Estuaries, and Rivers (CLEAR) program targets specific conservation practices aimed at improving water quality. Eligible practices include grass waterways, filter strips, riparian buffers, prairie strips, contour grass strips, bioreactors, and wetland restoration and buffers.
A separate subprogram, CLEAR30, is a new pilot program created to promote longer-term water quality buffer agreements. Through CLEAR30, farmers and landowners with expiring CRP contracts can re-enroll such buffers with a new 30-year contract to continue the practices.
The deadline for signups to CLEAR30 is August 5, with contracts going into effect on October 1. Farmers and landowners interested in signing up for any of these programs should contact their local USDA Service Center. Detailed information is also available on the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s blog.