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Base Acreage on Federal Land Reinstated

USDA rescinds rule that would make farmers who lease federal land ineligible for DCP.

Last December USDA issued a rule that terminated base acres on federal land as eligible for Direct and Counter-cyclical Program payments. Thursday Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that farms that have federally owned land that have base acres would be reinstated.

"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. "In keeping with President Obama's commitment to American agriculture, we have decided to rescind this rule."

According to the Farm Service Agency's Brett Orr this means farmers will be allowed to enroll their federally owned farms into DCP and receive payments in 2009. The announcement takes place immediately.

"It's a county office workload issue at this point," Orr said. "Typically I would expect some of the acres have been reduced in some county offices and some county offices have not. The direction is going out to the field today to instruct county offices to restore those base acres so it might not happen exactly today, but county offices will have instructions available to them so they can restore those acres.

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