Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that during this month, USDA will distribute approximately $1.6 billion in annual Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) rental payments and $3.8 billion in final 2010 direct payments to America's farmers and ranchers.

"October is an important production month because CRP rental payments, direct and counter-cyclical payments (DCP), and now Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) payments are paid during this first month of the Federal fiscal year," said Vilsack. "These funds support the agricultural economy and responsible stewardship of America's production acreage."

Producers holding 744,000 CRP contracts on 416,000 farms will receive an average of $52.56 per acre in CRP rental payments. Producers earn an average of $3,955 per farm enrolled in CRP. Included in the totals are 402,000 contracts (4.6 million acres) for continuous CRP enrollments and 342,000 contracts (26.7 million acres) enrolled under general CRP sign-ups.

Currently, total CRP enrollment stands at 31.3 million acres, making CRP the largest public-private partnership for conservation and wildlife habitat in the United States. This voluntary program helps agricultural producers safeguard environmentally sensitive land and provide millions of acres of habitat for game and non-game wildlife species.

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

A table located at http://www.fsa.usda.gov/Internet/FSA_File/apporttable.pdf lists enrollments by state, number of contracts, number of farms, acres enrolled as of the end of the 2010 fiscal year and CRP projected rental payments for fiscal year 2011.

Beginning Oct. 12, final direct payments for the DCP and ACRE programs will be made to more than 1.1 million producers enrolled in these programs. Participants in DCP or ACRE had the option of receiving a 22 percent advance direct payment when the farm was enrolled or delaying the direct payment until after the end of the fiscal year. ACRE revenue payments are scheduled to be made at a later time.

The secretary said that a final peanut counter-cyclical payment will be made this month which, when summed with the advance payment, totals $47 million. The 2009 counter-cyclical payments are for producers on farms with base acres of peanuts and upland cotton enrolled in DCP and ACRE. The ACRE revenue payment date and rate will be announced in the future. Final counter-cyclical payments will be made as follows:

* Counter-cyclical payment rates for sunflower seed, canola, crambe, flaxseed, mustard seed, rapeseed, safflower, sesame seed, large chickpeas, and small chickpeas will be determined as soon as practical after the market year average price is published on Nov. 30, and for rice, after Jan. 31, 2011. Based on market price information to date, no counter-cyclical payments are expected to be issued for these crops.

* The final 2009-crop upland cotton CCP rate will be determined after October 8. The 2008 farm bill authorized a partial CCP payment in March 2010, with a final payment made at the end of the marketing year. Producers with upland cotton base acres who accepted a partial payment in March 2010 received $0.0103 per pound.

* Since the effective price for wheat, barley, oats, corn, soybeans, grain sorghum, dry peas and lentils exceeds the target price, as required by statute, the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) will not issue any 2009 CCP payments for these crops.

For more information on CRP, DCP or ACRE, producers should contact their local FSA office or visit FSA's Web site at http://www.fsa.usda.gov.