Press release: More than $18 million in CRP payments going to New Mexico farmers

ALBUQUERQUE – Salomon Ramirez, State Executive Director for USDA’s Farm Service Agency in New Mexico today announced that USDA has almost completed issuing over $18 million in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) payments to eligible producers in New Mexico. More than $1.7 billion in CRP payments are being made on 31 million acres across the country.

“The Conservation Reserve Program works cooperatively with America’s farmers and ranchers to conserve and preserve the soil and water that we, and numerous wildlife species, depend on for survival,” said Ramirez. “These payments represent an investment in the nation’s land that will pay dividends in the form of a cleaner environment today and for our grandchildren.”

The payments announced today are annual rental payments earned on the 568,253 acres enrolled in the CRP, including the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program and Continuous Sign-Up Program fiscal year 2009. Producer’s holding 2,493 contracts on 1,577 farms will receive an average of $11,813 per farm or $32.78 per acre. The number of contracts is higher than the number of farms because producers may have multiple contracts on a single farm.

This voluntary program helps agricultural producers safeguard environmentally sensitive land. Producers enroll in CRP and plant long-term, resource-conserving covers to improve water quality, control soil erosion and enhance habitats for waterfowl and wildlife. In return, USDA provides producers with rental payments. CRP contract duration is from 10 to 15 years.

Land to be enrolled must be either highly erodible, contribute to a serious water quality problem, provide important wildlife habitat or provide substantial environmental benefits if devoted to certain specific conservation uses.

For more information on CRP, producers should contact their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office or visit FSA’s Web site at http://www.fsa.usda.gov