Wetlands Expansion Program Funds Available

Wetlands Expansion Program Funds Available

Harkin supports Farmable Wetlands Program.

Signup for the government's Farmable Wetlands Program begins next Monday, Aug. 3, at local Farm Service Agency county offices. The Farmland Wetlands Program is a voluntary program to restore up to one million acres of U.S. farmable wetlands and associated buffers by improving the land's hydrology and vegetation. Authorized incentives include a payment of $100 per acre, an incentive payment of 40% of the cost to establish the practice and a 120% rental rate.

 

When Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that signup he gained the support of Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. Harkin says he is pleased that the Farmable Wetlands Program will soon be available to farmers. The 2009 farm bill expanded the Farmable Wetlands Program's ability to construct new wetlands. Harkin points out that these constructed wetlands offer benefits such as reducing nutrient levels in subsurface drainage water, reducing nutrients downstream and reducing the flow of floodwaters, slowing floodwaters and reducing downstream damages.

 

Eligible producers can enroll eligible land in FWP through the Conservation Reserve Program. FWP is limited to no more than one million acres and no more than 100,000 acres in any one state. Through FWP, the USDA Farm Service Agency establishes 10-15 year contracts with agricultural producers. There are 188,000 acres currently enrolled in the program. In accordance with the 2008 Farm Bill, FWP was modified to extend the current authority through September 30, 2012. Check with your Farm Service Agency Office for land eligibility requirements.

TAGS: USDA
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