6,480 Farms Participate
Some 6,480 Alabama farms have enrolled nearly 396,000 acres in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and will receive rental payments of more than $18.1 million during the federal government’s 2012 fiscal year that began October 1st. The state’s CRP enrollment is covered under almost 9,100 contracts.
The CRP is a voluntary program designed to help agricultural producers safeguard environmentally-sensitive land and provide millions of acres of habitat for game and non-game wildlife species. Participants enroll in CRP contracts for 10 to 15 years.
Acreage enrolled in the CRP is planted to resource-conserving vegetative covers, a practice boosting wildlife populations in many parts of the country, lessening erosion, protecting groundwater and helping improve the condition of lakes, rivers, ponds and streams.
The Commodity Credit Corporation makes annual rental payments based on the rental value of the land for agricultural purposes and provides cost-share assistance for up to 50 percent of expenses incurred by a participant in establishing approved conservation practices.
Nationwide, producers holding 752,000 contracts on 417,000 farms will receive an average CRP-rental payment of $55.06 per acre, or an average of $4,115 per enrolled farm. With more than 31.1 million acres in the CRP, payments will total approximately $1.7 billion.
In Alabama, the average CRP payment per farm is $2,800, or $45.82 per acre.
Iowa leads the nation in the number of participating farms and in CRP payments scheduled for fiscal 2012 with $212.9 million going to 53,600 farms.
Texas has the most land enrolled, with nearly 3.46 million acres in the program.
Following is a table of CRP participation figures for selected states in the Southeast, and national totals.