USDA will offer certain producers the opportunity to modify and extend their Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts that are scheduled to expire on Sept. 30, 2009, USDA announced today.
USDA can only extend approximately 1.5 million acres out of a total 3.9 million acres expiring this year. This extension will ensure that FSA meets the statutory CRP acreage limitation of 32 million acres established in the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008.
A general CRP signup is not scheduled during fiscal year 2009. However, producers may continue to enroll relatively small, highly-desirable acreages, including land that is not extended, into Continuous CRP. Continuous CRP includes such practices as filter strips and riparian buffers.
FSA will notify participants by letter beginning May 6, 2009. The sign-up for this voluntary extension will begin on May 18 and run through June 30, 2009. Farmers and ranchers may apply for this extension at their FSA county office. Producers electing to extend their contract period will receive their current contract rental rate. All or a portion of the acreage under contract may be included in an extension, but no new acreage may be added. CRP contracts with the highest environmental benefit or with the highest potential for soil erosion will be selected.
FSA administers CRP on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation. Through CRP, FSA enters into long term (10-15 year) contracts with agricultural producers to protect highly erodible and other environmentally-sensitive land. Participants convert enrolled land to grass, trees, wildlife habitats and other conservation uses.
Follow this link to read USDA's statement.
For question or comments, e-mail Kim Watson
, editor Beef Today.