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Published October 13, 2009, 11:04 AM

USDA announces $1.7 billion in CRP payments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will issue $1.7 billion in conservation reserve program rental payments in 2010.

By: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture,

WASHINGTON - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that USDA will distribute about $1.7 billion in Conservation Reserve Program rental payments to participants across the country in fiscal year 2010.

North Dakota will receive $97,363,844 and Minnesota $109,022,018.

Producers holding about 758,000 contracts on 424,000 farms will receive an average of $51.52 per acre. The number of contracts is higher than the number of farms because producers may have multiple contracts on a single farm. The payments allow producers to earn an average of $4,104 per farm enrolled in the program.

Included in the totals are 391,000 contracts, about 4.4 million acres, for CRP's continuous sign-up and 369,000 contracts, approximately 29.4 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.

Currently, about 31 million acres are enrolled, 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.