What Is CRP Migratory Birds SAFE?
The Migratory Birds, Butterflies and Pollinators Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) State Acres for Wildlife (SAFE) project is designed to provide private land owners a market-based financial incentive for restoring playa wetlands. Playa wetlands are shallow depressions that often fill with water after spring rainstorms, providing habitat for millions of migratory birds and recharging the underlying aquifers. There are three playa areas of Nebraska included in this CRP Migratory Bird SAFE: Central Table Playas, Southwest Playas, and Rainwater Basin.
There are 37 counties in Nebraska that are eligible for the SAFE project: Adams, Banner, Buffalo, Butler, Chase, Cheyenne, Clay, Custer, Dawson, Deuel, Dundy, Fillmore, Franklin, Frontier, Garden, Gosper, Hall, Hamilton, Harlan, Hayes, Hitchcock, Kearney, Keith, Kimball, Lincoln, Logan, Nuckolls, Perkins, Phelps, Polk, Saline, Seward, Sherman, Thayer, Valley, Webster and York. Additional counties in Kansas and Oklahoma also are eligible.
The purpose of this CRP Migratory Bird SAFE is to restore playas to their proper function, providing benefits that include improved water quality, water recharge for the Ogallala Aquifer and habitat for migrating waterfowl, cranes and shorebirds.
Learn the Basics of CRP Migratory Birds SAFE Enrollment
Watch this video to get a better understanding of program basics such as eligibility requirements, enrollment steps, and what producers should know as they prepare to sign up for CRP-SAFE.
How To Enroll
Through the CRP Migratory Birds SAFE, landowners within these playas have the opportunity to submit an offer to enroll in the program for an amount they are willing to accept as an annual payment — up to the county irrigated rental rate per acre — for a contract period of 10-15 years. There also may be other incentives available for signing up and for cost-share associated with establishing the conservation practice on the land. Landowners can submit offers starting Jan. 3, 2023. The current enrollment period has ended but contact your local FSA office to enroll in the next sign-up. Contract offers can be submitted through FSA at any time, and those offers will be ranked at intervals in a competitive bid process. Once a contract offer is accepted by FSA, landowners will work with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) regarding the technical assistance necessary to restore the contract area. Offers that don’t make the first cut-off date, or aren’t accepted during the first round, will be carried over for consideration during the next round. Contact your local USDA Service Center for more information about sign-ups.
Contact Your Local USDA Service Center
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides technical assistance to landowners, while the offer is submitted through the Farm Service Agency (FSA). FSA will evaluate submitted offers in a competitive process. To find a local office, visit: www.farmers.gov/service-center-locator. Call for more information and to schedule an appointment.