WASHINGTON, Oct. 21, 2013 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that USDA has begun distributing Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) annual rental payments, while the department will distribute 2013 direct payments and 2012 Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program payments beginning Oct. 24.
Payments originally were scheduled to be issued earlier in the month, but were delayed by several weeks due to the lapse in federal funding.
“Farmers, ranchers and rural landowners across the country count on USDA programs and the payment delays due to the shutdown were an unnecessary burden,” Vilsack said. “USDA has prioritized making these scheduled payments without any further delay and Farm Service Agency staff have worked hard to get this assistance out the door as quickly as possible.”
Producers will receive payments on almost 700,000 CRP contracts on 390,000 farms covering 26.8 million acres. In exchange for a yearly rental payment provided by USDA on contracts ranging from 10 to 15 years, farmers and ranchers enrolled in CRP agree to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and plant grasses or trees that will improve water quality and improve waterfowl and wildlife habitat.
USDA said CRP reduced runoff and leaching of nitrogen and phosphorus into waterways by an estimated 605 million pounds and 121 million pounds, respectively, in 2012, and soil erosion reductions totaling 308 million tons in 2012.
Direct payments for 2013 for the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program (DCP) and ACRE programs are being made to the more than 1.7 million farms enrolled in FSA’s programs.
Producers with base acres of certain commodities are eligible for DCP payments. ACRE payments for 2012 - crop barley, corn, grain sorghum, lentils, oats, peanuts, dry peas, soybeans, and wheat are scheduled to be released beginning Oct. 24 and contingent upon national average market prices and yields in each state.
ACRE payments for large chickpeas, small chickpeas, canola, crambe, flaxseed, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower, sesame, and sunflowers are scheduled to be made in early December and for long grain rice and medium and short grain rice in early February 2014 when the final 2012-2013 market year average price data becomes available, according to USDA.
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