Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill) • PL 110-246 (Signed May 22, 2008, Effective June 18, 2008) • PL 110-398 – Technical Corrections (October 13, 2008) • PL 111-16 – Stimulus Bill Disclaimer: Provisions provided in this presentation are subject to change or interpretive differences.
Topics for Discussion • Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) • Grasslands Reserve Program (GRP) • Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program • Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) • Farm Storage Facility Loan Program
Conservation Reserve Program • Acreage cap reduced from 39.6 million to 32 million acres • Implementation of new 2008 Farm Bill General CRP delayed until Environmental Assessment completed • No general sign up until 2010 probably • USDA may consider extension of some CRP contracts on a priority basis, but only 1.5 million acres available to enroll with 4.5 million acres expiring September 30, 2009
Conservation Reserve Program • CRP will be re-focused and re-targeted for the 21st century when new rules on evaluation are published • CRP cropping history for land eligibility will change • Pollinator habitat improvement will be emphasized on CRP • Native pollinators – bees, butterflies, other insects, birds, etc., are vital for American Agriculture • 1 out of every 3 bites of food is dependent on pollinators • Practice will generally consist of 1 to 3 bunch grasses and 9 or 10 wildflowers/forbs
Conservation Reserve Program • New CRP Aquaculture Wetland Restoration Practice • Purpose is to convert commercial pond raised aquaculture systems to a wetland system • Established due to import economic losses of the industry • Cost share and rental payments will be made to convert the ponds to wetlands
Conservation Reserve Program • Continuous sign up CRP is currently available for establishment of buffers, waterway, filter strips, wetland preservation, windbreaks, hardwood tree establishment and other high environmental priority practices • CRP payment limit is $50,000 annually; payments will be based on direct attribution
Conservation Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) • Adjusted Gross Income will apply where if the average adjusted gross nonfarm income exceeds $1 million then the person or legal entity is ineligible for all conservation program benefits, unless 66.66 percent or more of the average AGI was derived from activities related to farming, ranching, and forestry operations.
Grasslands Reserve Program • GRP authority was extended to September 30, 2012 • Enrollment authority is expanded by 1, 220,000 acres • FSA and NRCS Partnership on implementing GRP • 40 percent of the GRP funding will be for 10, 15, and 20 year rental contracts • 60 percent of the GRP funding will be for permanent easements
Grasslands Reserve Program • Adjusted Gross Income, AGI, is applicable • HELC/WC compliance requirements must be met
Grasslands Reserve Program • Sign up for GRP is on a continuing basis with periodic evaluation periods for program acceptance (can sign up today!) • May 15, 2009, is the cut off date to receive applications to be evaluated for 2009 GRP • July 1, 2009, approximate date to be notified of GRP acceptance • Applications not accepted for 2009 GRP will remain on file to be evaluated for future years GRP funding unless withdrawn by the applicant
Voluntary Public Access Program • The Voluntary Public Access Program was included in the 2008 Farm Bill to provide States with an existing Public Access program an opportunity to access Grant Funds for their respective State or Tribal governments • The purpose of the program is to encourage owners and operators of private farm, ranch, and forest land to voluntarily make those lands available for wildlife dependent recreation • Currently Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation has a public access program where a landowner receives a small incentive and participants wanting access to the land pay ODWC a access permit fee.
Biomass Crop Assistance Program(BCAP) • BCAP is the first FSA program devoted to energy • BCAP purpose is to support establishment and production of crops for bio-energy • Delivered through collaboration with many players • BCAP proposals are submitted by a group of producers or by a biomass conversion facility • Regulations on BCAP will not be published until a program Environmental Impact Statement is prepared • Possible implementation in 2010
Biomass Crop Assistance Program • BCAP will be available only in an area where a biomass conversion facility is located • Land within 25 to 50 miles of the conversion facility may be eligible for BCAP • 5-year contract on annual or perennial crops or a 15 year contract on woody biomass • Producer payments would be: • An annual rental payment • Cost share (75%) to establish the biomass crop • Transportation/handling/processing payments • CRP, GRP, and WRP lands are not eligible
Farm Storage Facility Loan Program (FSFL) • The FSA Farm Storage Facility Loan Program allows eligible producers to make a loan with the agency to construct on farm commodity storage • Current interest rate for this program is 2.25% per annum on a 7-year loan with a $100,000 loan limit • The 2008 Farm Bill broadened the FSFL program • The new FSFL provision are not available currently since the regulation has not been published (possibly available in the summer 2009)
New FSFL Provisions • Eligible storage commodities will include: • All commodities previously eligible (traditional grain crops) • Hay • Renewable Biomass • Fruit and Vegetables • Structures must have a useful life of 15 years • New structures only • Cold storage for fruits and vegetables • Cannot be used for commercial purposes
New FSFL Terms • Loan limit = $500,000 per loan • Loan term: • $100,000 or less = 7 years • $100,000.01 to $250,000 = 7 or 10 years • $250,000.01 to $500,000 = 7, 10, or 12 years • Interest rate depends on the loan term • Additional security required for loans > $50,000 such as a real estate lien or irrevocable letter of credit • Down payment of 15% • Construction period = 4 months from application approval date
Thank You Oklahoma Farm Service Agency www.fsa.usda.gov www.fsa.usda.gov/ok