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USDA Farm Service Agency aids rural areas

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Last year, the Illinois Farm Service Agency provided nearly $650 million in assistance to the state’s agriculture producers.
Those funds help farmers and ranchers recover from disasters, implement conservation practices and support other activities to ensure the well-being of American farmers.
Following is the breakdown of the federal farm payments issued in Illinois during 2010:
• $394 million was issued through the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Payment program, which provides annual payments to eligible producers. The Average Crop Revenue Election  (ACRE) provides producers with revenue-based payments as an alternative to receiving price-based, counter-cyclical payments. About $102 million was disbursed in Illinois through the ACRE program.
• The Supplemental Revenue Assistance (SURE) program provides crop disaster assistance to eligible producers on farms that have incurred crop production or crop quality losses due to natural disasters. Qualifying producers in Illinois received $25.4 million in 2010.
• The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a voluntary land retirement program available to agriculture producers to help safeguard environmentally-sensitive land. In 2010, CRP contract holders in Illinois received about $117 million in annual rental payments for doing their part to improve water quality, reduce soil erosion and enhance wildlife habitat.
• Other notable program totals in Illinois in 2010 include: $45,426 for the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP); $1.4 million for the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program and $4 million for the Dairy Economic Loss Assistance Payment (DELAP) program.
In addition to direct payments, Illinois FSA loaned nearly $1.74 million through commodity loans and Loan Deficiency Payments to provide producers with interim financing at harvest to meet cash flow needs, and the Farm Storage Facility Loan program provided nearly $32 million in low-interest financing for producers to build or upgrade farm storage.
For more information about USDA Farm Service Agency programs, contact your local FSA office or visit www.fsa.usda.gov.