Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says USDA's Farm Service Agency will offer certain producers the opportunity to modify and extend their Conservation Reserve Program contracts that are scheduled to expire on Sept. 30, 2009. USDA can only extend approximately 1.5 million acres out of a total 3.9 million acres expiring this year. This extension will ensure that FSA meets the statutory CRP acreage limitation of 32 million acres established in the 2008 Farm Bill.
FSA will notify participants by letter beginning Wednesday. The sign-up for this voluntary extension will begin on May 18 and run through June 30, 2009. Farmers and ranchers may apply for this extension at their FSA county office.
A general CRP signup is not scheduled during fiscal year 2009. However, producers may continue to enroll relatively small, highly-desirable acreages, including land that is not extended, into Continuous CRP. Continuous CRP includes such practices as filter strips and riparian buffers.