Pro Farmer Editors
Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer today announced USDA will distribute
$1.8 billion in Conservation Reserve Program rental payments to participants
across the country for fiscal year 2009.
Producers holding about 766,000 contracts on 430,000 farms will receive an
average of $50.93 per acre. The payments allow producers enrolled in the program
to earn an average of $4,105 per farm.
Included in the totals are 380,000 contracts (4.1 million acres) for the
Conservation Reserve Program's (CRP) continuous sign-up and 386,000 contracts
(30.6 million acres) for general sign-up. Under continuous sign-up, producers
may enroll high priority conservation practices such as filter strips, riparian
buffers, and wetland restorations at any time without competition.
Currently, enrollment stands at 34.7 million acres, making CRP the largest
public-private partnership for conservation and wildlife habitat in the United
States. This voluntary program helps agricultural producers safeguard environmentally-sensitive
land. Producers enroll in CRP and plant long-term, resource-conserving covers
to improve water quality, control soil erosion and enhance habitats for waterfowl
and wildlife. In return, USDA provides producers with annual rental payments.
CRP contract duration is from 10 to 15 years.
USDA issues other CRP payments throughout the year. These payments include
a 50 percent expense reimbursement for establishing and managing cover as
well as incentive payments for enrolling eligible high priority conservation