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USDA1.5 million acres will come out of CRP in 2007

Agriculture.com Staff 06/06/2006 @ 7:17am

USDA announced on Monday it will accept one million acres offered under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) 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," said Chuck Conner, USDA Deputy Secretary. "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."

For CRP general sign-up 33, which ran from March 27 to April 28, 2006, USDA 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 (EBI) factors of soil erosion, water quality, enduring benefits, air quality and wildlife enhancement.

USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) ranked all offers on the same basis and considered offers with an EBI score of at least 242 as acceptable for enrollment. The average EBI score for all offers this sign-up was 284. FSA administers CRP on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC).

With this additional acreage, 36 million acres are enrolled into the CRP. Under the program, farmers will be paid an average rental rate for the land enrolled this year of $53.44 an acre. The contracts extend up to 10 years.

USDA will provide annual rental payments of $54 million to participants for this year's 1.0 million acres enrolled.

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

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

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