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USDA to issue more than $1.3 billion in CRP payments

WASHINGTON—Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman announced that payments of more than $1.3 billion are being made to eligible producers under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The program will pay an average of $5,000 per farm and $45.15 per acre on more than 400,000 contracts and 270,000 farms.

“The CRP is tremendously beneficial for producers and the general public,” said Glickman. “It has reduced soil erosion and expanded wildlife habitat while improving air and water quality, restoring wetlands, and encouraging tree planting. And at the same time, it has strengthened farm income.

“I have directed these payments be issued as soon as possible to our Nation’s farmers and ranchers, many of whom are suffering from the worst agricultural crisis in a decade,” Glickman said.

Under the CRP, producers voluntarily retire environmentally sensitive land for 10 to 15 years. In return, USDA’s Commodity Credit Corporation makes annual rental payments to producers and shares the cost of establishing approved conservation practices. Enrolled land must be highly erodible, contribute to a serious water quality problem, or provide substantial environmental benefits if devoted to certain specific conservation uses.

Additional CRP information can be obtained on the world wide web at www.fsa.usda.gov/dafp/cepd/crpinfo.htm