As of last week, producers holding 752,000 contracts on 417,000 farms will receive an average Conservation Reserve Program rental payment of $55.06 per acre. Producers will earn an average payment of $4,115 per farm enrolled in the program. Included in the totals are 414,000 contracts (5.1 million acres) for continuous CRP enrollments and 338,000 contracts (24.8 million acres) enrolled under general CRP, reports USDA’s Farm Service Agency. In all, the payments total approximately $1.7 billion.

 “CRP protects millions of acres of American topsoil from erosion and is designed to safeguard the America’s natural resources,” says Bruce Nelson, FSA administrator. FSA administers the program, while technical support functions are provided by public- and private-sector partners.

“By reducing water runoff and sedimentation, CRP protects groundwater and helps improve the condition of lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams. Acreage enrolled in the CRP is planted to resource-conserving vegetative covers, making the program a major contributor to increased wildlife populations in many parts of the country,” he adds.

USDA will distribute the CRP rental payments to participants nationwide. As a voluntary program, CRP helps agricultural producers safeguard environmentally sensitive land and provide millions of acres of game and non-game wildlife habitat. Participants enroll in CRP contracts for 10 to 15 years; current enrollment stands at 29.9 million acres.

The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) makes annual rental payments based on the land’s agricultural rental value, and it provides cost-share assistance for up to 50 percent of the participant's costs in establishing approved conservation practices.

USDA also issues non-rental CRP payments throughout the year. These payments include a 50 percent expense reimbursement to the producer for establishing and managing ground cover as well as incentive payments for enrolling eligible, high priority conservation practices.

The accompanying table, which also is accessible online, lists acreage enrollments by state, number of contracts, number of farms, acres enrolled as of the end of the 2011 fiscal year and CRP projected rental payments for fiscal year 2012.

CRP enrollment as of September 2011 and October 2011 rental payments

STATE 

NUMBER OF CONTRACTS 

NUMBER OF FARMS 

ACRES ENROLLED 

RENTAL PAYMENTS 

ALABAMA

9,093

6,480

395,901

$18,141,752

ALASKA

42

27

19,013

$668,053

ARKANSAS

5,956

3,299

250,340

$14,936,106

CALIFORNIA

499

387

122,237

$4,659,639

COLORADO

12,719

6,194

2,235,943

$73,650,439

CONNECTICUT

15

13

140

$9,162

DELAWARE

665

349

6,862

$766,093

FLORIDA

1,324

1,070

56,729

$2,275,180

GEORGIA

9,095

6,465

319,923

$15,014,654

HAWAII

9

9

167

$9,632

IDAHO

5,213

2,993

670,935

$29,621,296

ILLINOIS

82,534

45,127

1,037,082

$118,721,765

INDIANA

38,337

21,468

285,976

$31,139,269

IOWA

106,772

53,601

1,666,077

$212,962,880

KANSAS

47,264

26,905

2,736,915

$109,709,259

KENTUCKY

17,636

9,463

358,796

$39,807,984

LOUISIANA

5,047

3,211

327,080

$20,126,120

MAINE

678

470

17,936

$928,192

MARYLAND

6,456

3,533

79,171

$10,912,633

MASSACHUSETTS

4

4

15

$2,566

MICHIGAN

15,236

8,723

229,102

$20,186,751

MINNESOTA

63,119

33,153

1,636,074

$110,093,906

MISSISSIPPI

19,879

12,498

852,099

$40,940,444

MISSOURI

36,532

21,133

1,362,793

$100,874,589

MONTANA

15,267

6,018

2,860,998

$91,784,050

NEBRASKA

28,249

15,840

1,079,983

$65,437,490

NEW HAMPSHIRE

5

5

58

$3,222

NEW JERSEY

290

203

2,586

$180,757

NEW MEXICO

2,006

1,292

455,015

$15,239,837

NEW YORK

2,885

2,038

53,152

$3,711,019

NORTH CAROLINA

8,088

5,279

117,787

$8,076,182

NORTH DAKOTA

34,445

16,864

2,648,185

$95,840,798

OHIO

38,342

21,362

344,240

$41,058,917

OKLAHOMA

7,501

5,081

862,412

$28,890,320

OREGON

4,296

2,271

551,008

$28,631,923

PENNSYLVANIA

12,127

7,620

220,386

$22,658,340

PUERTO RICO

19

19

2,032

$129,681

SOUTH CAROLINA

7,665

4,318

159,085

$6,093,795

SOUTH DAKOTA

31,894

14,884

1,161,293

$65,161,870

TENNESSEE

7,356

4,883

204,698

$13,718,350

TEXAS

22,121

16,240

3,457,323

$124,337,837

UTAH

883

535

163,197

$5,082,238

VERMONT

381

270

2,835

$282,166

VIRGINIA

5,860

4,473

63,255

$3,743,311

WASHINGTON

12,477

5,182

1,459,939

$81,331,355

WEST VIRGINIA

463

377

5,945

$437,397

WISCONSIN

24,647

15,103

398,918

$31,852,908

WYOMING

972

653

226,591

$6,161,981

NOT REPORED 1/

1

1

28

$2,284

TOTALS 

752,364

417,386

31,168,255

$1,716,006,394

1/ Data from States with fewer than 4 contracts not reported.

To be eligible for CRP enrollment, a producer must have owned or operated the land for at least 12 months prior to close of the CRP sign-up period. There are some exceptions, which are spelled out online.  

Producers can offer land for CRP general sign-up enrollment only during designated sign-up periods. For information on upcoming sign-ups, contact your local FSA office. To find your local office, visit FSA's website.

Environmentally desirable land devoted to certain conservation practices may be enrolled at any time under CRP continuous sign-up. Certain eligibility requirements will apply. More information on CRP continuous sign-up is available in the FSA fact sheet "Conservation Reserve Program Continuous Sign-up."

Source: FSA