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Farmers to Get up to $115 an Acre in Conservation Reserve Program

United Press International

Farmers will be paid as much as $115 an acre in rent to put highly erodible land in the Conservation Reserve, the government said Friday in announcing maximum rates that will be paid in each state.

The rates apply to land that was offered in the seventh sign-up for the reserve, which closed Wednesday. The rate for California is $50 an acre.

The lowest rate was $30 an acre for some land in Wisconsin and Minnesota. The top rate went to Illinois.

Farmers who enroll land in the Conservation Reserve are paid rent for taking highly erodible land out of production for 10 years. The government also pays up to half the cost of soil-saving improvements on the land.

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More than 25.5 million acres have been enrolled in the reserve. The goal is to retire 40 million to 45 million acres by the end of 1990.

Annual payments have averaged $48 an acre and have ranged from $20 to $90.

Agriculture Secretary Richard Lyng said the department will not be ready to report complete information from the sign-up until mid-September. He said he was announcing the maximum acceptable rate for each state so farmers can make planting decisions.

If the per-acre bid submitted for an individual farm exceeds the prevailing local rate for comparable land, the bid will be rejected.

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Rates were announced by state and by “pool” within states. States were allowed to establish Conservation Reserve pools for areas where erosion, crop production and other agricultural criteria are similar.


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