The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

October 23, 2013

USDA payments ready to go after shutdown delay

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Farmers should begin getting payments soon for land set aside in the Conservation Reserve Program.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it is sending out checks several weeks late because of the partial government shutdown.

About 390,000 farms nationwide have enrolled land in the CRP program covering nearly 27 million acres.

In exchange for an annual rental payment farmers take environmentally sensitive land out of production and plant grass or trees on it to improve water quality, wildlife habitat and prevent erosion.

Payments to corn and soybean farmers enrolled in the Average Crop Revenue Election program will begin going out Thursday. The USDA says 1.7 million farms are enrolled in the program, which provides farmers a revenue guarantee based on market prices and average yields for certain commodities.

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