USDA has started distributing Conservation Reserve Program annual rental payments to participants across the country. Beginning October 24th – the department will also distribute 2013 direct payments and 2012 Average Crop Revenue Election program payments. The payments were originally scheduled to be issued earlier in the month – but were delayed as a result of the lapse in federal funding. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the payment delays due to the shutdown were an unnecessary burden on farmers, ranchers and rural landowners who count on USDA programs. He says USDA has prioritized to make 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. National Cotton Council Chairman Jimmy Dodson said the U.S. cotton industry is very grateful for USDA’s timeliness on these distributions. He said this will facilitate orderly crop marketing as well as the availability of working capital as the peak harvest season approaches.
According to USDA – producers will receive payments on almost 700-thousand CRP contracts on 390-thousand 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.
Direct payments for 2013 for the DCP and ACRE programs are being made to the more than 1.7-million farms enrolled in the Farm Service Agency’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 contingent upon national average market prices and yields in each state.
With the expiration of the 2008 Farm Bill extension on September 30th – USDA notes FSA doesn’t have legislative authority to approve or process applications for the DCP, ACRE and CRP programs.
Source: NAFB News serivce