Owning Land

Outlining the Differences In WRP and CRP

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), 15 year easement, 30 year easement, or perpetual easement? Conservation easements enable landowners to protect the resources on their land while providing income and significant tax benefits. If you’re considering placing an easement on your property, watch this video to learn more about these conservation programs that can help ensure your land and legacy is preserved for future generations.

WRP is offered through the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and is a voluntary, incentive-based conservation program offering landowners the opportunity to protect, restore, and enhance wetlands on their property. WRP was established by the 1990 Farm Bill. WRP provides technical and financial assistance to eligible landowners to promote conservation on American wetlands.

CRP is a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) program and is administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA). The program for private landowners targets removing highly erodible cropland from production and improving habitat for declining wildlife species, conserve and improve soil and protect water quality. CRP is designed to establish long-term conservation covers and local ecosystem improvements on American farmland.

WRP is different from CRP in that WRP pays a one time, per acre, upfront amount of money to the landowner to convert the property into WRP. WRP is a life-of-the-land enrollment system, but there are some that are 30 year easement. CRP pays an annual rental rate to the landowner; a certain amount per acre, per year, for usually 15 years and then they are eligible to get a renewal extension. 

If you’re thinking about placing your property in any of these programs, or if you’re looking to purchase conservation land, make sure you understand them well. In this video, Pat Porter, broker at RecLand Realty, is on a WRP tract in Arkansas that he is listing for sale. Listen as Pat outlines the differences in WRP and CRP. 

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About the author

Pat Porter

Pat is the owner / broker for RecLand Realty. RecLand specializes in selling hunting land, timberland, farms, & ranches in LA, AR, MS, TX, IA, & MO. See their company website at RecLand.net.

Pat, his wife, and three boys are land owners and enjoy hunting, shooting, and an outdoor lifestyle. They live in northeast Louisiana and are usually in the woods somewhere several times a week.


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  • Pat, I have property in Ballard County KY and a portion has been enrolled in the WRP for nearly 15 years…my question is do you notice a lower price when selling property with an easement such as the WRP or CRP or is it nearly the same as other properties without the easements?

    Thanks so much,


    • Craig, in our area, we have a lot of WRP. It has gotten progressively more undesirable over the years due to the permanent (in most cases) easement so they are harder to sell. Sone WRP in premium areas still does well due to the quality deer/duck hunting but a typical WRP tract now had to be priced pretty well in order to move. CRP is easier due to the income and the fact the contract expires. The upside to some if the older WRP in our region is that the planted hardwoods are getting big so the habitat and overall look is much better.


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