South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune is introducing a measure designed to give producers another conservation option in the upcoming 2018 Farm Bill called the Soil Health and Income Protection Program, or SHIPP. This is a voluntary program to address soil health and less-productive farming land. The SHIPP proposal is a shorter conservation program than the normal Conservation Reserve Program. To participate, farmers would have to commit a maximum of 15 percent of their least productive acreage for three-to-five years which is a shorter time commitment than the 10-to-15 years required for CRP. “Having a program like this that’s three-to-five years in duration satisfies a lot of the requirements that farmers are frustrated with regarding the CRP program,” Thune says. He says this will be a good opportunity for farmers to get income off their least productive lands and give them a chance to plant crops on it again if commodity prices improve.
Producers can plant the acreage with hay or alfalfa outside of the nesting and brood-rearing period in their county. The annual SHIPP payment rate is half of the CRP general sign-up rental-per-acre rate for the county.
Source: NAFB News Service