USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that producers can begin signing up for the Farmable Wetlands Program on Aug. 3, 2009, at their local Farm Service Agency county office. The Farmable Wetlands Program is an important component of the Conservation Reserve Program authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill. Authorized incentives include a payment of $100 per acre, an incentive payment of 40 percent of the cost to establish the practice and a 120 percent rental rate.

"The Farmable Wetlands Program is a helpful tool for producers to help protect clean water, control soil erosion and enhance wildlife habitats to preserve these resources for future generations," said Vilsack.

Farmland Wetlands Program is a voluntary program to restore up to one million acres of U.S. farmable wetlands and associated buffers by improving the land's hydrology and vegetation. Eligible producers can enroll eligible land in FWP through the Conservation Reserve Program.

FWP is limited to no more than one million acres and no more than 100,000 acres in any one state. Through FWP, the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) establishes 10-15 year contracts with agricultural producers. There are 188,000 acres currently enrolled in the program.

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Source: USDA