USDA accepted offers on approximately 4.3 million acres into the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) via general signup 39 held Aug. 2-27, 2010. USDA received around 50,000 offers totaling 4.8 million acres, officials said today.
This will mean that on Oct. 1, 2010, there will be approximately 31.2 million acres in the CRP, leaving space for around 800,000 acres in the CRP. That's based on 4.459 million acres of CRP contracts maturing as of Sept. 30, 2010.
And CRP continues as a popular program as officials detailed that 57% of acres offered for enrollment during signup 39 were under CRP contracts already that were to mature as of Sept. 30, 2010. And since they were under a CRP contract, FSA deems those acres as meeting the requirement of being cropped four of the six years from 2002 through 2007.
In a teleconference with reporters, FSA officials said that the average rental rate on contracts accepted in the 39th signup is $46.03 per acre.
As for future plans for the program in terms of another general signup, officials did not commit to one but noted that USDA Sec. Tom Vilsack has "made it clear" he wants to see the level of acres in the program to be "close to the statutory cap" of 32 million acres.
USDA selected offers for enrollment based on an Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) comprised of five environmental factors plus cost. The five environmental factors are: (1) wildlife enhancement, (2) water quality, (3) soil erosion, (4) enduring benefits, and (5) air quality. The minimal acceptable EBI level for this signup is 200.