Producers can now sign up for Farmable Wetlands Program

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WASHINGTON — Sign-ups are open for producers to sign up for the Farmable Wetlands Program in the local Farm Service Agency county office.
Authorized incentives include a payment of $100 per acre, an incentive payment of 40 percent of the cost to establish the practice and a 120 percent rental rate.
Farmland Wetlands Program is a voluntary program to restore up to 1 million acres of

U.S. farmable wetlands

Who can participate? Eligible producers can enroll eligible land in farm wetlands program through the Conservation Reserve Program. Through the Farm Wetlands Program, the USDA Farm Service Agency establishes 10- to 15-year contracts with agricultural producers.
There are 188,000 acres currently enrolled in the program. The 2008 farm bill extended the program through Sept. 30, 2012.

Eligibility requirements

Land eligibility was expanded to include:
Land for a constructed wetland developed to receive flow for a row crop agriculture drainage system for the purpose of providing nitrogen removal and other wetland functions;
Land that was devoted to commercial pond-raised aquaculture in any year during 2002 – 2007; and
Land that, after Jan. 1, 1990, and before Dec. 31, 2002, was cropped during at least three of 10 crop years, and was subject to the natural overflow of a prairie wetland.

Program limits

The Farm Wetlands Program enrollment limitations include 40 acres for wetlands or constructed wetlands, 20 acres for intermittently flooded prairie wetlands, and 40 acres per tract for eligible wetlands and buffers.
Participants must agree to restore the hydrology of the wetlands to establish vegetative cover which may include emerging vegetation in water, bottomland hardwoods, cypress and other appropriate tree species; and to the general prohibition of using of the enrolled land for commercial purposes.
For more information on FSA’s conservation programs, visit your FSA county office or www.fsa.usda.gov.

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