2014 Farm Bill expired on Sept. 30

     U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Joe Martin says that payments will soon be issued to landowners whose Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts require modifications.

    With the expiration of the 2014 Farm Bill on Sept. 30, 2018, USDA no longer has the authority to make modifications to CRP contracts requiring an increase in contract acres.  However, other contract modifications can be made, and payments will be issued for contracts that had been approved by Sept. 30, 2018.

    In October 2018, USDA issued program payments to more than 30,000 landowners on nearly 14,000 CRP contracts in Minnesota that had no pending contract modifications. Around 1,000 contracts that require modifications remain unpaid.

    “Although the 2014 Farm Bill has not yet been reauthorized or extended, USDA will honor our commitment to deliver programs, services and payments to our customers, and we are currently working on getting these final payments made in Minnesota and across the Nation” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue.  “I also want to commend Congressman Collin Peterson for his proactive efforts to bring this issue to my attention and advocating for the landowners in his District. While congress works to reconcile a new or extended Farm Bill, USDA is working to ensure all programs are implemented as seamlessly as possible in the interim.”

    The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), established in 1985, offers landowners annual rental and cost-share payments for converting environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production to vegetative cover suitable for the protection of soil and water resources and the improvement of wildlife habitat.

    “Landowners who have questions about unpaid CRP contracts should contact and work with FSA at their local USDA Service Center,” said Martin. “Our county office staff will be working diligently over the coming weeks to issue payments as soon as possible.”

    For more information on USDA programs or to locate a USDA Service Center, visit www.farmers.gov.