CRP Acreage Tally Now Under 30 Million Acres

December 22, 2011 12:39 AM
 
Untitled Document

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

A net of less than 1.5 million acres exited program at the end of September

NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.


There were 29.647 million acres of ground in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) as of Nov. 2011, below the 32 million acre cap on the program imposed via the 2008 Farm Bill.

Facts and figures. Twelve states have 1 million or more acres in CRP, with five states having 2 million or more and one state – Texas – has more than 3 million acres in the program.

States with 1 million or More Acres in CRP as of Nov. 30, 2011

State

Acres in CRP
million acres

Colorado

  2.185

Illinois

 1.027

Iowa

  1.657

Kansas

  2.538

Minnesota

  1.565

Missouri

  1.294

Montana

  2.510

Nebraska

  1.006

North Dakota

  2.387

South Dakota

  1.101

Texas

  3.369

Washington

  1.488

Total US

29.647


As for acres that exited the program and could be brought back into row-crop production, data indicates a net of less than 1.5 million acres exited the program as of Sep. 30, 2011.

That breaks down as follows:

Contracts scheduled to mature Sep. 30, 2011:    4.341 million acres

Enrollments via signup 41:                                    2.662 million acres

Other (1)                                         &nbs​p;                       0.220 million acres

 Net change in CRP from Sep. 30 to Nov. 1:          1.477 million acres

(1)   = Continuous signup enrollment and adjustments, such as corrections, appeals, and attrition (drop-out).

Of that total, over half the net acreage decrease was registered in three states – Montana (344,005 acres), North Dakota (261,175 acres) and Kansas (193,847 acres). In key Corn Belt states, reductions were far less. Minnesota and Nebraska registered net declines in CRP of 70,548 acres and 65,447 acres, respectively, with Missouri’s net reduction in CRP acres at 66,329. The three “I” states registered far smaller declines – Illinois (9,848 acres), Indiana (7,100 acres) and Iowa (5,947 acres). Texas, the state holding the most CRP acres, saw a net decline of 86,604 acres.

Enrollments under continuous signup efforts have averaged around 350,000 annually the past 15 years. Enrollments via continuous signups can happen at any time and are not subject to competitive bidding as is the case for general signups. In addition, these acres carry a higher to much-higher rental rate given the increased environmental benefits these acres provide as they typically are shelter belts, filter strips, riparian areas and other more environmentally sensitive tracts of land.

Given expectations for a reduction in the CRP acreage limit via coming farm bill efforts to 25 million acres, here is a a look at current scheduled maturities at the end of each fiscal year under the program:

CRP Contract Maturities

Fiscal Year

Acres Maturing
million

2012

  6.530

2013

  3.319

2014

  1.995

2015

  1.676

2016

  1.197

2017

  2.656

Total FY 2012-2017

17.373


Comments: USDA has publicly said they intend to keep the program acreage level as close to the maximum allowed mark as possible. And, so far, many of those with lands in CRP have shown they are willing to put acres back into the program when general signups are held. Given current crop prices, that is a surprise to some. With the expectation that acreage in the program will be limited via the next farm bill, it will be interesting to see if USDA makes good on their previously stated pledge to keep the program stocked with as many acres as they are allowed to -- any new farm bill changes would gradually phase down maximum CRP acres.

Land bid into the program during general signup 41 held earlier this year meant that of the 4.4 million acres that were to exit the program Sep. 30, 2011, only a net 34 percent of those acres actually exited the program. Recent general signups have seen 50% to 60% of the land accepted for new CRP contracts being acres that were under a CRP contract about to expire. If that pattern were to hold in future years and USDA holds additional general signups, that could present a challenge in terms of reducing the level of acres in the CRP should the limit be trimmed to 25 million acres.



NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.


 

 

 

 

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