Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) Program
Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) for 2010 Factsheet
(PDF - 135 KB)
Choosing between ACRE and Counter-cyclical payments in 2010
(XLS - 221 KB)
If they did not sign up in 2009, farmers have until June 1, 2010, to sign their farms up for the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program, the optional safety net for farmers provided in the 2008 Farm Bill. And farmers should pay close attention to this decision for 2010.
Current research results from University of Minnesota Extension tilt towards the decision to sign up in 2010. The decision in 2009 was a toss up as to whether ACRE or counter-cyclical payments (CCP) was a better bet.
Example calculations by Kent Olson, Professor in Applied Economics, point toward ACRE payments for corn, soybean and wheat in Minnesota, but this is not certain. There are many interrelated moving parts in this decision. To predict the probability of ACRE payments in the midst of uncertainty, Olson estimated the potential values and distributions of yields and prices for 2010 and combined them with the ACRE program’s rules in a statistical model. The results estimate potential state ACRE payment rates in Minnesota near $50 per acre for corn, $30 for soybeans, and $27 for wheat, with positive payment rates estimated to occur in more than 50 percent of the estimations. Actual payments to individual farms would depend on whether each farm had a loss under ACRE rules, the second trigger in the ACRE program. However, these are just estimates. The possibility of no payments also exists.
Farmers who did not sign up for ACRE in 2009 need to evaluate their specific conditions and payment limits and decide which program is the best option for them in 2010. Those who signed up for ACRE in 2009 cannot revoke this decision.
Further information for Minnesota farmers and an Excel worksheet for analyzing the choice between ACRE and counter-cyclical payments for 2010 is available in the two links above. Also, further information on ACRE and other FSA programs are available on FSA’s website at: www.fsa.usda.gov.
Conservation and Energy Program Updates
New conservation program
Conservation Stewardship Program (CSTP)
The new Conservation Stewardship Program is available for all landowners. CSTP rules are still being developed. However, the program could pay farmers who are improving conservation treatment on their working lands to encourage the continuation of farming and ranching practices that benefit soil, water and air resources. This program could reward those producers who are accepted for high levels of stewardship and addressing local resource concerns. Acres might be allocated based on eligible acres in each state. CSTP is available on tribal agricultural lands. Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
Sunsetted conservation program
Conservation Security Program (CSP)
The Conservation Security Program (CSP) is no longer available. This program was offered to selected watersheds in the United States. Several watersheds participated in the CSP in Minnesota (2004-08), including the Blue Earth, Root, Redwood, Sauk, Red Lake and Thief River watersheds. Those landowners/producers who are presently enrolled in the CSP in these watersheds will continue to receive their CSP payments through the length of their contract. This CSP program is not included in the 2008 Farm Bill and no new contracts or modifications will be accepted.
Biomass Crop Assistance Program (Section 9011)
Provides support to establish and produce crops for conversion to bio-energy in specific project areas, and to help with collection, harvest, storage and transportation of eligible material for use in a biomass conversion facility. Implementation will be through the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and other federal and local agencies.
Bio-energy Program for Advanced Biofuels (Section 9005)
Provides payments to eligible agricultural producers to support and ensure expanded production of advanced biofuels. The guidelines governing this program are still being developed. Rural Development will be administering this program when it is released. For further information watch www.rurdev.usda.gov/mn/rbs.htm or contact Lisa Noty at 507-373-7960 ext. 120.
Community based programs
Biorefinery Assistance Program (Section 9003)
Provides loan guarantees for the development, construction and retrofitting of commercial-scale biorefineries that will utilize non-corn kernel starch as a feedstock. Applications for the 2009 program are due by April 30. Rural Development is administering this program. For further information see www.rurdev.usda.gov/mn/rbs.htm or contact Lisa Noty at 507-373-7960 ext. 120.
Repowering Assistance (Section 9004)
Provides financial assistance to existing biorefineries for replacing fossil fuel systems with renewable energy biomass systems. The guidelines governing this program are still being developed at the time of this update. Rural Development will be administering this program when it is released. For further information watch www.rurdev.usda.gov/mn/rbs.htm or contact Lisa Noty at 507-373-7960 ext. 120.
Rural Energy for America Program (Section 9007)
Expands and renames the program formally called Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvements Program. Under the expanded program, agricultural producers and small businesses can now apply for grants and loan guarantees to help install renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements and to help cover the costs of feasibility studies. Renewable energy projects include bioenergy systems, anaerobic digesters, wind, solar, and geothermal. Energy efficiency improvements are defined as any improvement made to a process or facility that decreases energy consumption. Under the expanded version, grants can also be made to eligible entities to conduct energy audits and to aid applicants in applying for energy efficiency assistance. This is a non-residential program. Rural Development will continue to administer this program. For further information see www.rurdev.usda.gov/mn/rbs.htm, contact the Rural Development office nearest you, or call Lisa Noty at 507-373-7960 ext. 120.
Community Wood Energy Program (Section 9013)
Provides grants to state and local governments to develop community wood energy plans and to acquire or upgrade wood energy systems. Contact Steve Yaddof at the U.S. Forest Service, email@example.com.
Forest Biomass for Energy (Section 9012)
This bill authorizes the U.S. Forest Service to conduct a comprehensive research and development program to use forest biomass for energy. The U.S. Forest Service, other federal agencies, state and local governments, Indian tribes, land-grant colleges and universities, and private entities are eligible to compete for program funds.
Priority research projects include:
- The use of low-value forest biomass for energy from forest health and hazardous fuels reduction treatment
- The integrated production of energy from forest biomass into biorefineries or other existing manufacturing
- The development of new transportation fuels from forest biomass
- The improved growth and yield of trees for renewable energy production
Contact Marilyn Buford at the U.S. Forest Service, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: For each energy program, there is a section number. This section number can be used to search 2008 Farm Bill websites.
Additional websites of interest
Presently, USDA is in the process of developing regulations, rules and funding notices for the Title IX Energy Provisions. Anyone can subscribe to the USDA online news alerts and federal government funding notifications:
- Subscribe to USDA News Alerts: http://apps.ams.usda.gov/ocnews/
- Subscribe to Federal Government Grant Alerts: www.grants.gov/
Information on residential energy efficiency programs