AGRICULTURE Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has begun distributing Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) annual rental payments to participants across the country.
The direct payments for 2013 and Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program payments for 2012 began 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 resulting from the government shutdown.
"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 enhance waterfowl and wildlife habitat.
Direct payments for 2013 for the Direct & Counter-Cyclical Payment (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 were scheduled to be released beginning Oct. 24, contingent upon national average market prices and yields in each state.
ACRE payments for upland cotton are scheduled to be made in early November, after the 2012-13 average marketing year price is published in the "Agricultural Prices" report on Oct. 31.
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, after the 2012-13 average marketing year price is published in the "Agricultural Prices" report scheduled to be released on Nov. 27.
ACRE payments for long-grain, medium-grain and short-grain rice are scheduled to be made in early February 2014 after the final 2012-13 average marketing year price is published in the "Agricultural Prices" report scheduled for release on Jan. 31, 2014.