The USDA has started distributing Conservation Reserve Program annual rental payments to participants across the country. And beginning Thursday, October 24 Direct Payments and 2012 Average Crop Revenue Election or ACRE program payments also will be distributed. Due to the lapse in federal funding, payments scheduled to be issued earlier this month were delayed.
According to the USDA Farm Service Agency, producers will receive payments on nearly 700,000 CRP contracts on 390,000 farms covering 26.8 million acres. Farmers and ranchers enrolled in CRP agree to remove environmentally sensitive land from agriculture production in exchange for a yearly rental payment provided by USDA.
Due to the lack of a farm bill, there is no legislation reauthorizing or extending FSA's legislative authority to enroll land in these programs as of the first of this month when current farm policy expired.