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April 02, 2009   Email to Friend 

VILSACK REINSTATES BASE ACREAGE ON FEDERAL LAND
Darryal Ray
(334) 613-4187
April 02, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that the rule terminating base acres on federal land has been rescinded.

As a result of Vilsack's action, farmers who lease federal land are again considered eligible to receive payments under the Direct and Counter-cyclical Program (DCP) on federal land with base acres.

"This was an issue that could have potentially cost our members untold DCP funds," said Keith Gray, director of National Affairs for the Alabama Farmers Federation. "It would've unfairly penalized our farmers, and that's why we -- along with the American Farm Bureau Federation -- worked on it by contacting our congressional delegation and the USDA. Ultimately, we got a good result by the agency reversing itself."

According to figures from the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries, the decision would have affected 49 Alabama farmers and 11,225 acres of federal land in Barbour, Colbert, Greene, Jackson, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Lowndes and Morgan counties.

"Terminating base acres on federally owned cropland would have hurt farmers across the United States and eroded the safety net for farmers and ranchers," said Vilsack.

This decision rescinds the part of the Dec. 23, 2008, DCP final rule, which terminated base acreage on federal lands. The rule directed that beginning in crop year 2009, producers who leased federal land would no longer be eligible for DCP payments authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill.


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