USDA Accepts 1 Million New CRP Acres

CRP participants intend to re-enroll and extend contracts covering 13 million acres set to expire Sept. 20, 2007.

USDA will accept one million acres offered under the Conservation Reserve Program general sign-up and that CRP participants intend to re-enroll and extend contracts covering 13 million acres set to expire Sept. 20, 2007.

"I'm pleased to announce the selection of one million acres offered for enrollment under the Conservation Reserve Program general sign-up," says USDA Deputy Secretary Chuck Conner. "In addition, contracts covering 13 million of the 15.5 million acres set to expire in 2007 will be re-enrolled or extended. This enrollment helps fulfill the President's commitment to strengthening our largest cooperative conservation partnership with farmers and ranchers."

The general sign-up that ran from March 27 to April 28, 2006 selected 1 million acres of the 1.4 million acres offered. USDA selected the most environmentally fragile of the cropland acres offered, ranking offers based on cost and the Environmental Benefits Index factors of soil erosion, water quality, enduring benefits, air quality and wildlife enhancement.

The average rental rate per acre is $53.44, and will provide annual rental payments of $54 million to participants for the 1 million acres enrolled. This additional acreage raises the total CRP acreage to 36.68 million acres.

FSA received 22,990 offers for enrollment and accepted 18,140. Offers accepted under this sign-up will become effective on Oct. 1, 2006.

CRP offers accepted by each state are as follows:

 

 

 

 

Conservation Reserve Program General Sign-up 33

 

 

 

State

Number Offered

Number Accepted

Acres Offered

National

22,990

18,140

1,369,447

Alabama

251

223

9,595

Alaska

0

0

0

Arkansas

219

198

12,114

California

14

11

5,357

Colorado

801

582

117,873

Connecticut

0

0

0

Delaware

0

0

0

Florida

31

27

1,299

Georgia

415

380

13,639

Hawaii

0

0

0

Idaho

224

197

18,596

Illinois

2,169

1,707

42,880

Indiana

630

508

13,342

Iowa

1,891

1,590

48,742

Kansas

2,854

2,627

220,164

Kentucky

284

252

7,205

Louisiana

72

60

5,038

Maine

29

3

1,301

Maryland

24

17

535

Massachusetts

0

0

0

Michigan

645

454

17,913

Minnesota

1,838

1,598

44,337

Mississippi

468

362

26,549

Missouri

1,111

924

51,141

Montana

627

285

108,544

Nebraska

1,427

1,207

77,577

Nevada

0

0

0

New Hampshire

*

0

*

New Jersey

4

*

126

New Mexico

4

*

673

New York

166

88

4,330

North Carolina

334

303

5,733

North Dakota

1,165

559

99,361

Ohio

743

616

15,557

Oklahoma

521

465

43,109

Oregon

189

117

31,286

Pennsylvania

39

32

1,029

Puerto Rico

0

0

0

Rhode Island

0

0

0

South Carolina

108

85

2,409

South Dakota

1,003

631

75,742

Tennessee

249

207

6,914

Texas

655

394

104,491

Utah

41

31

8,575

Vermont

0

0

0

Virginia

212

158

3,486

Washington

615

510

102,771

West Virginia

5

4

166

Wisconsin

905

723

19,600

Wyoming

6

*

324

* Data withheld to avoid disclosure of individual operators.

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CRP re-enrollments and contract extension results

In addition, CRP participants with land set to expire in 2007 intend to re-enroll or extend CRP contracts covering 13 million acres, almost 84% of the 15.5 million acres set to expire.

In 2004, President Bush directed USDA to offer re-enrollments and extensions of CRP contracts set to expire between 2007 through 2010. FSA received more than 5,000 public comments on how to implement the President's directive. FSA contacted almost 158,000 CRP participants with contracts scheduled to expire in 2007 beginning on Jan. 31, 2006, to determine their interest in voluntarily continuing in CRP.

FSA has posted tables showing state and county acreage enrollment data at: www.fsa.usda.gov/dafp/cepd/crp.htm.

FSA used the EBI at the time of enrollment to determine eligibility for CRP re-enrollments or extensions, giving additional credit for contracts within national CRP conservation priority areas. FSA ranked individual contracts into one of five tiers based on the environmental benefits of the original EBI score. Eligible participants ranking in the first tier (between 81-100%) of the EBI could re-enroll their land in new 10-year contracts. Farmers and ranchers with wetlands in this top tier ranking were eligible for a 15-year contract.

Eligible participants ranking in the second tier (between 61-80%) could extend their CRP contracts for five years. Eligible participants ranking within the third tier (between 41-60%) could extend their CRP contracts by four years. Eligible participants ranking in the fourth tier (between 21-40%) could receive three-year extensions. Eligible participants ranking in the bottom tier could extend their contracts by two years.

FSA also notified almost 160,000 participants with contracts expiring between 2008 and 2010 of their opportunity to re-enroll and extend. They have until June 30, 2006, to decide. FSA will report the intentions of those contract holders later this summer.

Before approving re-enrolled or extended contracts, FSA will review the contract to ensure that the required cover is maintained and there is compliance with other contract provisions. In addition, participants must be able to show that they meet eligibility requirements for the new enrollment period. In the case of re-enrollments, updated rental rates will apply.

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