Title 7

SECTION 1470.28

1470.28 Grassland conservation initiative contracts.

§ 1470.28 Grassland conservation initiative contracts.

(a) The purpose of the grassland conservation initiative (GCI) is to assist producers in protecting grazing uses, conserving and improving soil, water, and wildlife resources, and achieving related conservation values by conserving eligible land through grassland conservation contracts.

(b) The GCI is applicable on eligible cropland for which base acres have been maintained by the FSA under section 1112(d)(3) of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (7 U.S.C. 9012(d)(3)).

(c) Producers with eligible land will have one-time election to enroll in the GCI during fiscal years 2019 through 2023. A producer may elect to enroll eligible acres in the GCI or under a general CSP contract. A producer with land eligible for the GCI may not have the same land enrolled under both a GCI and general CSP contract at the same time.

(d) Participants enrolled in the GCI must agree to meet or exceed the stewardship threshold for at least one priority resource concern before the end of the contract.

(e) A GCI plan shall:

(1) Encompass all enrolled land;

(2) Require adoption of conservation activities to address grassland resource concerns; and

(3) If crops are grown, require adoption of conservation activities that achieve conservation stewardship levels analogous to the land being planted or maintained in grass.

(f) The GCI contract will be for one 5-year term and will not be subject to renewal.

(g) GCI annual payments will be $18 per acre, not to exceed the acres enrolled in the GCI contract.

(1) GCI contracts are not subject to the payment limitations or contract limits provided in § 1470.24(f) and (g).

(2) GCI contracts are not eligible for supplemental payments as provided in § 1470.24(b).

(h) The participant may request to terminate their GCI contract at any time and retain payments already received under the contract.