[USC02] 16 USC Ch. 58: ERODIBLE LAND AND WETLAND CONSERVATION AND RESERVE PROGRAM
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16 USC Ch. 58: ERODIBLE LAND AND WETLAND CONSERVATION AND RESERVE PROGRAM
From Title 16—CONSERVATION

CHAPTER 58—ERODIBLE LAND AND WETLAND CONSERVATION AND RESERVE PROGRAM

SUBCHAPTER I—DEFINITIONS

Sec.
3801.
Definitions.

        

SUBCHAPTER II—HIGHLY ERODIBLE LAND CONSERVATION

3811.
Program ineligibility.
3812.
Exemptions.
3812a.
Development and implementation of conservation plans and conservation systems.
3813.
Soil surveys.
3814.
Notice and investigation of possible compliance deficiencies.

        

SUBCHAPTER III—WETLAND CONSERVATION

3821.
Program ineligibility.
3822.
Delineation of wetlands; exemptions.
3823.
Affiliated persons.
3824.
Fairness of compliance.

        

SUBCHAPTER IV—AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION PROGRAM

Part I—Comprehensive Conservation Enhancement Program

subpart a—general provisions

3830, 3830a. Repealed.

        

subpart b—conservation reserve

3831.
Conservation reserve.
3831a.
Conservation reserve enhancement program.
3831b.
Farmable wetland program.
3831c.
Pilot programs.
3832.
Duties of owners and operators.
3833.
Duties of the Secretary.
3834.
Payments.
3835.
Contracts.
3835a.
Repealed.

        

subpart c—wetlands reserve program

3837 to 3837f. Repealed.

        

Part II—Conservation Security and Farmland Protection

subpart a—conservation security program

3838 to 3838c. Repealed.

        

subpart b—conservation stewardship program

3838d to 3838g. Transferred.

        

subpart c—farmland protection program

3838h to 3838j. Repealed.

        

subpart d—grassland reserve program

3838n to 3838q. Repealed.

        

Part III—Environmental Easement Program

3839 to 3839d. Repealed.

        

Part IV—Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Conservation Stewardship Program

subpart a—environmental quality incentives program

3839aa.
Purposes.
3839aa–1.
Definitions.
3839aa–2.
Establishment and administration.
3839aa–3.
Evaluation of applications.
3839aa–4.
Duties of producers.
3839aa–5.
Environmental quality incentives program plan.
3839aa–6.
Duties of the Secretary.
3839aa–7.
Limitation on payments.
3839aa–8.
Conservation innovation grants and payments.
3839aa–9.
Repealed.

        

subpart b—conservation stewardship program

3839aa–21.
Definitions.
3839aa–22.
Conservation stewardship program.
3839aa–23.
Stewardship contracts.
3839aa–24.
Duties of the Secretary.
3839aa–25.
Grassland conservation initiative.

        

Part V—Other Conservation Programs

3839bb.
Conservation of private grazing land.
3839bb–1.
Repealed.
3839bb–2.
Grassroots source water protection program.
3839bb–3, 3839bb–4. Repealed.
3839bb–5.
Voluntary public access and habitat incentive program.
3839bb–6.
Terminal lakes assistance.

        

SUBCHAPTER V—FUNDING AND ADMINISTRATION

3841.
Commodity Credit Corporation.
3842.
Delivery of technical assistance.
3843.
Repealed.
3844.
Administrative requirements for conservation programs.
3845.
Environmental services markets.
3846.
Regulations.
3847.
Data on conservation practices.

        

SUBCHAPTER V–A—OTHER CONSERVATION PROGRAMS

3851.
Experienced services program.
3851a.
Forest Service participation in ACES Program.

        

SUBCHAPTER VI—STATE TECHNICAL COMMITTEES

3861.
Establishment of State technical committees.
3862.
Responsibilities.

        

SUBCHAPTER VII—AGRICULTURAL CONSERVATION EASEMENT PROGRAM

3865.
Establishment and purposes.
3865a.
Definitions.
3865b.
Agricultural land easements.
3865c.
Wetland reserve easements.
3865d.
Administration.

        

SUBCHAPTER VIII—REGIONAL CONSERVATION PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM

3871.
Establishment and purposes.
3871a.
Definitions.
3871b.
Regional conservation partnerships.
3871c.
Assistance to producers.
3871d.
Funding.
3871e.
Administration.
3871f.
Critical conservation areas.

        

SUBCHAPTER I—DEFINITIONS

§3801. Definitions

(a) For purposes of subchapters I through VIII:

(1) The term "agricultural commodity" means—

(A) any agricultural commodity planted and produced in a State by annual tilling of the soil, including tilling by one-trip planters; or

(B) sugarcane planted and produced in a State.


(2) Beginning farmer or rancher.—The term "beginning farmer or rancher" has the meaning given the term in section 1991(a)(8) of title 7.

(3) Conservation plan.—The term "conservation plan" means the document that—

(A) applies to highly erodible cropland;

(B) describes the conservation system applicable to the highly erodible cropland and describes the decisions of the person with respect to location, land use, tillage systems, and conservation treatment measures and schedule; and

(C) is approved by the local soil conservation district, in consultation with the local committees established under section 590h(b)(5) of this title and the Secretary, or by the Secretary.


(4) Conservation system.—The term "conservation system" means a combination of 1 or more conservation measures or management practices that—

(A) are based on local resource conditions, available conservation technology, and the standards and guidelines contained in the Natural Resources Conservation Service field office technical guides; and

(B) are designed to achieve, in a cost effective and technically practicable manner, a substantial reduction in soil erosion or a substantial improvement in soil conditions on a field or group of fields containing highly erodible cropland when compared to the level of erosion or soil conditions that existed before the application of the conservation measures and management practices.


(5) The term "conservation district" means any district or unit of State or local government formed under State or territorial law for the express purpose of developing and carrying out a local soil and water conservation program. Such district or unit of government may be referred to as a "conservation district", "soil conservation district", "soil and water conservation district", "resource conservation district", "natural resource district", "land conservation committee", or a similar name.

(6) The term "cost sharing payment" means a payment made by the Secretary to an owner or operator of a farm or ranch containing highly erodible cropland under the provisions of section 3834(b) of this title.

(7)(A) The term "converted wetland" means wetland that has been drained, dredged, filled, leveled, or otherwise manipulated (including any activity that results in impairing or reducing the flow, circulation, or reach of water) for the purpose or to have the effect of making the production of an agricultural commodity possible if—

(i) such production would not have been possible but for such action; and

(ii) before such action—

(I) such land was wetland; and

(II) such land was neither highly erodible land nor highly erodible cropland.


(B) Wetland shall not be considered converted wetland if production of an agricultural commodity on such land during a crop year—

(i) is possible as a result of a natural condition, such as drought; and

(ii) is not assisted by an action of the producer that destroys natural wetland characteristics.


(8) Farm.—The term "farm" means a farm that—

(A) is under the general control of one operator;

(B) has one or more owners;

(C) consists of one or more tracts of land, whether or not contiguous;

(D) is located within a county or region, as determined by the Secretary; and

(E) may contain lands that are incidental to the production of perennial crops, including conserving uses, forestry, and livestock, as determined by the Secretary.


(9) Field.—The term "field" means a part of a farm that is separated from the balance of the farm by permanent boundaries such as fences, roads, permanent waterways, or other similar features. At the option of the owner or operator of the farm, croplines may also be used to delineate a field if farming practices make it probable that the croplines are not subject to change. Any highly erodible land on which an agricultural commodity is produced after December 23, 1985, and that is not exempt under section 3812 of this title, shall be considered as part of the field in which the land was included on December 23, 1985, unless the owner and Secretary agree to modification of the boundaries of the field to carry out this chapter.

(10) The term "highly erodible cropland" means highly erodible land that is in cropland use, as determined by the Secretary.

(11)(A) The term "highly erodible land" means land—

(i) that is classified by the Soil Conservation Service as class IV, VI, VII, or VIII land under the land capability classification system in effect on December 23, 1985; or

(ii) that has, or that if used to produce an agricultural commodity, would have an excessive average annual rate of erosion in relation to the soil loss tolerance level, as established by the Secretary, and as determined by the Secretary through application of factors from the universal soil loss equation and the wind erosion equation, including factors for climate, soil erodibility, and field slope.


(B) For purposes of this paragraph, the land capability class or rate of erosion for a field shall be that determined by the Secretary to be the predominant class or rate of erosion under regulations issued by the Secretary.

(C) Equations.—Not later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this subparagraph, the Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register the universal soil loss equation and wind erosion equation used by the Department of Agriculture as of that date. The Secretary may not change the equations after that date except following notice and comment in a manner consistent with section 553 of title 5.

(12) The term "hydric soil" means soil that, in its undrained condition, is saturated, flooded, or ponded long enough during a growing season to develop an anaerobic condition that supports the growth and regeneration of hydrophytic vegetation.

(13) The term "hydrophytic vegetation" means a plant growing in—

(A) water; or

(B) a substrate that is at least periodically deficient in oxygen during a growing season as a result of excessive water content.


(14) Indian tribe.—The term "Indian tribe" has the meaning given the term in section 5304(e) of title 25.

(15) The term "in-kind commodities" means commodities that are normally produced on land that is the subject of an agreement entered into under subchapter IV.

(16) Integrated pest management.—The term "integrated pest management" means a sustainable approach to managing pests by combining biological, cultural, physical, and chemical tools in a way that minimizes economic, health, and environmental risks.

(17) Livestock.—The term "livestock" means all animals raised on farms, as determined by the Secretary.

(18) Nonindustrial private forest land.—The term "nonindustrial private forest land" means rural land, as determined by the Secretary, that—

(A) has existing tree cover or is suitable for growing trees; and

(B) is owned by any nonindustrial private individual, group, association, corporation, Indian tribe, or other private legal entity that has definitive decisionmaking authority over the land.


(19) Person and legal entity.—For purposes of applying payment limitations under subchapter IV, the terms "person" and "legal entity" have the meanings given those terms in section 1308(a) of title 7.

(20) The term "rental payment" means a payment made by the Secretary to an owner or operator of a farm or ranch containing highly erodible cropland to compensate the owner or operator for retiring such land from crop production and placing such land in the conservation reserve in accordance with subchapter IV.

(21) The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of Agriculture.

(22) The term "shelterbelt" means a vegetative barrier with a linear configuration composed of trees, shrubs, and other approved perennial vegetation.

(23) Socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher.—The term "socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher" has the meaning given the term in section 2279(e)(2) 1 of title 7.

(24) The term "State" means each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands of the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

(25) Technical assistance.—The term "technical assistance" means technical expertise, information, and tools necessary for the conservation of natural resources on land active in agricultural, forestry, or related uses. The term includes the following:

(A) Technical services provided directly to farmers, ranchers, and other eligible entities, such as conservation planning, technical consultation, and assistance with design and implementation of conservation practices.

(B) Technical infrastructure, including activities, processes, tools, and agency functions needed to support delivery of technical services, such as technical standards, resource inventories, training, data, technology, monitoring, and effects analyses.


(26) The term "vegetative cover" means—

(A) perennial grasses, legumes, forbs, or shrubs with an expected life span of 5 or more years; or

(B) trees.


(27) The term "wetland", except when such term is part of the term "converted wetland", means land that—

(A) has a predominance of hydric soils;

(B) is inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support a prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions; and

(C) under normal circumstances does support a prevalence of such vegetation.


For purposes of this Act, and any other Act, this term shall not include lands in Alaska identified as having high potential for agricultural development which have a predominance of permafrost soils.


(b) The Secretary shall develop—

(1) criteria for the identification of hydric soils and hydrophytic vegetation; and

(2) lists of such soils and such vegetation.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1201, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1504; Pub. L. 99–349, title I, July 2, 1986, 100 Stat. 714; Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1421(a), Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3572; Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §301(a)–(c), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 980, 981; Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2001, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1025; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2001, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1753; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2713(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 772.)

References in Text

Subchapters I through VIII, referred to in subsec. (a), was in the original a reference to subtitles A through I, meaning subtitles A through I of title XII of Pub. L. 99–198. Subtitles A through E and G through I are classified generally to subchapters I through V and VI through VIII of this chapter. Subtitle F of title XII was repealed by Pub. L. 104–127. Section 3851 of this title, contained in subchapter V–A, is based on section 1252 of Pub. L. 99–198, which was directed to be added to the previously repealed subtitle F by Pub. L. 110–246. See Codification note set out under section 3851 of this title.

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (a)(9), was in the original "this title", meaning title XII of Pub. L. 99–198, which enacted this chapter and former section 2005a of this title and amended sections 590g, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2009 of this title, sections 4207 and 4209 of Title 7, Agriculture, and provisions set out as a note under section 1981 of Title 7.

The date of enactment of this subparagraph, referred to in subsec. (a)(11)(C), is the date of enactment of Pub. L. 104–127, which was approved Apr. 4, 1996.

Section 2279(e)(2) of title 7, referred to in subsec. (a)(23), was redesignated section 2279(a)(5) of title 7 by section 12301(b)(3), (5)(B) of Pub. L. 115–334.

This Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(27), is Pub. L. 99–198, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1354, known as the Food Security Act of 1985. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 1985 Amendment note set out under section 1281 of Title 7, Agriculture, and Tables.

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Amendments

2014—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 113–79 substituted "VIII" for "V" in introductory provisions.

2008—Subsec. (a)(2) to (27). Pub. L. 110–246, §2001, added pars. (2), (8), (14), (16) to (19), (23), and (25) and redesignated former pars. (2) to (18) as (3) to (7), (9) to (13), (15), (20) to (22), (24), (26), and (27), respectively.

1996—Subsec. (a)(2) to (6). Pub. L. 104–127, §301(a), added pars. (2) and (3) and redesignated former pars. (2) to (4) as (4) to (6), respectively. Former pars. (5) and (6) redesignated (7) and (8), respectively.

Subsec. (a)(7). Pub. L. 104–127, §301(b), added par. (7) and struck out former par. (7) which read as follows: "The term 'field' means such term as is defined in section 718.2(b)(9) of title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations (as of January 1, 1985), except that any highly erodible land on which an agricultural commodity is produced after December 23, 1985, and that is not exempt under section 3812 of this title shall be considered as part of the field in which such land was included on December 23, 1985, unless the Secretary permits modification of the boundaries of the field to carry out subchapters I through V of this chapter."

Pub. L. 104–127, §301(a)(1), redesignated par. (5) as (7). Former par. (7) redesignated (9).

Subsec. (a)(8). Pub. L. 104–127, §301(a)(1), redesignated par. (6) as (8). Former par. (8) redesignated (10).

Subsec. (a)(9). Pub. L. 104–127, §301(a)(1), redesignated par. (7) as (9). Former par. (9) redesignated (11).

Subsec. (a)(9)(C). Pub. L. 104–127, §301(c), added subpar. (C).

Subsec. (a)(10) to (18). Pub. L. 104–127, §301(a)(1), redesignated pars. (8) to (16) as (10) to (18), respectively.

1990—Subsec. (a)(16). Pub. L. 101–624 substituted introductory provisions and subpars. (A) to (C) for "The term 'wetland', except when such term is part of the term 'converted wetland', means land that has a predominance of hydric soils and that is inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances does support, a prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions."

1986—Subsec. (a)(16). Pub. L. 99–349 inserted provision that for purposes of this Act, and any other Act, the term "wetland" shall not include lands in Alaska identified as having high potential for agricultural development which have a predominance of permafrost soils.

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

Short Title of 2006 Amendment

Pub. L. 109–234, title III, §3001, June 15, 2006, 120 Stat. 474, provided that: "This title [amending section 3831 of this title] may be cited as the 'Emergency Agricultural Disaster Assistance Act of 2006'."

Short Title of 2003 Amendment

Pub. L. 108–7, div. N, title II, §201, Feb. 20, 2003, 117 Stat. 538, provided that: "This title [amending sections 3832 and 3841 of this title] may be cited as the 'Agricultural Assistance Act of 2003'."

Short Title of 2000 Amendment

Pub. L. 106–387, §1(a) [title XI, §1101], Oct. 28, 2000, 114 Stat. 1549, 1549A-75, provided that: "This title [amending sections 3831 and 3832 of this title and enacting provisions set out as notes under section 3831 of this title] may be cited as the 'Conservation of Farmable Wetland Act of 2000'."

Short Title of 1990 Amendment

Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1401, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3568, provided that: "This title [enacting sections 1003a, 1010, 3824, 3830, 3835a, 3837 to 3837f, 3838 to 3838f, 3839 to 3839d, 3846, 3847, 3861, and 3862 of this title and sections 136i–1, 2814, 3130, 5401 to 5403, 5501 to 5506 and 5822 of Title 7, Agriculture, amending this section, sections 590p, 1002, 1003, 3459, 3461, 3811, 3812, 3821 to 3823, 3831, 3832, 3834, 3835, 3836, 3843, and 3845 of this title, and sections 136a, 136a–1, 136d, 136w–3, 3157, and 4202 of Title 7, and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section and sections 2101 and 3831 of this title and sections 136a and 4201 of Title 7] may be cited as the 'Conservation Program Improvements Act'."

Regulations

Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2904, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1091, and Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2904, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1819, provided that:

"(a) Issuance.—Except as otherwise provided in this title [see Tables for classification] or an amendment made by this title, not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act [June 18, 2008], the Secretary of Agriculture, in consultation with the Commodity Credit Corporation, shall promulgate such regulations as are necessary to implement this title.

"(b) Applicable Authority.—The promulgation of regulations under subsection (a) and administration of this title—

"(1) shall be carried out without regard to—

"(A) chapter 35 of title 44, United States Code (commonly known as the Paperwork Reduction Act); and

"(B) the Statement of Policy of the Secretary of Agriculture effective July 24, 1971 (36 Fed. Reg. 13804) relating to notices of proposed rulemaking and public participation in rulemaking; and

"(2) may—

"(A) be promulgated with an opportunity for notice and comment; or

"(B) if determined to be appropriate by the Secretary of Agriculture or the Commodity Credit Corporation, as an interim rule effective on publication with an opportunity for notice and comment.

"(c) Congressional Review of Agency Rulemaking.—In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall use the authority provided under section 808(2) of title 5, United States Code."

[Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 enacted identical provisions. Pub. L. 110–234 was repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as a note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.]

Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2702, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 279, provided that:

"(a) In General.—Except as otherwise provided in this title [see Tables for classification] or an amendment made by this title, not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act [May 13, 2002], the Secretary of Agriculture, in consultation with the Commodity Credit Corporation, shall promulgate such regulations as are necessary to implement this title.

"(b) Applicable Authority.—The promulgation of regulations under subsection (a) and administration of this title—

"(1) shall—

"(A) be carried out without regard to chapter 35 of title 44, United States Code (commonly known as the Paperwork Reduction Act); and

"(B) the Statement of Policy of the Secretary of Agriculture effective July 24, 1971 (36 Fed. Reg. 13804) relating to notices of proposed rulemaking and public participation in rulemaking; and

"(2) may—

"(A) be promulgated with an opportunity for notice and comment; or

"(B) if determined to be appropriate by the Secretary of Agriculture or the Commodity Credit Corporation, as an interim rule effective on publication with an opportunity for notice and comment.

"(c) Congressional Review of Agency Rulemaking.—In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall use the authority provided under section 808(2) of title 5, United States Code."

Termination of Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands

For termination of Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, see note set out preceding section 1681 of Title 48, Territories and Insular Possessions.

Temporary Administration of Conservation Programs

Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2504, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4584, provided that:

"(a) Interim Administration.—Subject to subsection (d), the Secretary [of Agriculture] shall use the applicable regulations in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 20, 2018], to the extent that the terms and conditions of those regulations are consistent with the amendments made by this title [see Tables for classification], to carry out the programs under laws as amended by this title, including—

"(1) the conservation reserve program under subchapter B of chapter 1 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3831 et seq.) (as amended by subtitle B);

"(2) the environmental quality incentives program under subchapter A of chapter 4 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3839aa et seq[.]) (as added by section 2301(a)(1) and amended by subtitle C);

"(3) the conservation stewardship program under subchapter B of chapter 4 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 [16 U.S.C. 3839aa–21 et seq.] (as added by subsections (a)(2) and (b) of section 2301 and amended by subtitle C); and

"(4) the agricultural conservation easement program established under subtitle H of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3865 et seq.) (as amended by subtitle F).

"(b) Regional Conservation Partnership Program.—Notwithstanding subsection (e) of section 1271E of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3871e) (as amended by section 2706), and subject to subsection (d), for fiscal year 2019, the Secretary may use an availability of program funding announcement consistent with the amendments made by subtitle G [subtitle G (§§2701–2707) of title II of Pub. L. 115–334, amending sections 3871 to 3871f of this title] to carry out the regional conservation partnership program under subtitle I of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3871 et seq.) without issuing a regulation.

"(c) Funding.—The Secretary may only use funds authorized to be made available by this title or the amendments made by this title for the specific programs described in paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (a) and subsection (b), in accordance with any restrictions on the use of those funds, for the purposes described in subsections (a) and (b).

"(d) Termination of Authority.—The authority of the Secretary to carry out subsections (a) and (b) shall terminate on September 30, 2019.

"(e) Permanent Administration.—Effective beginning on the termination date described in subsection (d), the Secretary shall carry out this title and the amendments made by this title in accordance with such final regulations as the Secretary considers necessary to carry out this title and the amendments made by this title."

Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2712, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 771, provided that:

"(a) Applicability.—This section is applicable to activities under—

"(1) the wetlands reserve program, the farmland protection program, and the farm viability program being merged into the agricultural conservation easement program under the amendment made by section 2301 [enacting sections 3865 to 3865d of this title and amending section 3844 of this title];

"(2) the wildlife habitat incentive program being merged into the environmental quality incentives program under the amendments made by subtitle C [subtitle C (§§2201–2208) of title II of Pub. L. 113–79, amending sections 3839aa to 3839aa–4, 3839aa–7, and 3839aa–8 of this title];

"(3) the agricultural water enhancement program, the Chesapeake Bay watershed program, the cooperative conservation partnership initiative, and the Great Lakes basin program being merged into the regional conservation partnership program under the amendment made by section 2401 [enacting sections 3871 to 3871f of this title]; and

"(4) the grassland reserve program being merged into the conservation reserve program under the amendments made by subtitle A [subtitle A (§§2001–2008) of title II of Pub. L. 113–79, amending sections 3831, 3831b, and 3832 to 3835 of this title and repealing section 3835a of this title] and into the agricultural conservation easement program under the amendment made by section 2301.

"(b) Interim Administration.—Subject to subsection (d), with respect to the implementation of the agricultural conservation easement program under subtitle H of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 [16 U.S.C. 3865 et seq.], as added by section 2301, the amendments to the environmental quality incentives program made by subtitle C, the regional conservation partnership program under subtitle I of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 [16 U.S.C. 3871 et seq.], as added by section 2401, and the amendments to the conservation reserve program made by subtitle A, the Secretary [of Agriculture] shall use the regulations in existence as of the day before the date of enactment of this Act [Feb. 7, 2014] that are applicable to the wetlands reserve program, the grassland reserve program, the farmland protection program, the farm viability program, the wildlife habitat incentive program, the agricultural water enhancement program, the Chesapeake Bay watershed program, the cooperative conservation partnership initiative, and the Great Lakes basin program repealed by this subtitle [subtitle H (§§2701–2713) of title II of Pub. L. 113–79, see Tables for classification], to the extent that the terms and conditions of such regulations are consistent with—

"(1) the provisions of the agricultural conservation easement program and the regional conservation partnership program; and

"(2) the amendments to the environmental quality incentives program and the conservation reserve program made by this title.

"(c) Funding.—The Secretary may only use funds authorized in this title [see Tables for classification] or in the amendments made by this title for the specific programs listed in subsection (b), including any restrictions on the use of those funds, for the purposes identified in paragraphs (1) and (2) of subsection (b).

"(d) Termination of Authority.—The authority of the Secretary to carry out subsection (b) shall terminate on the date that is 270 days after the date of enactment of this Act.

"(e) Permanent Administration.—Effective beginning on the termination date described in subsection (d), the Secretary shall provide technical assistance, financial assistance, and easement enrollment in accordance with any final regulations that the Secretary considers necessary to carry out this title and the amendments made by this title."

Continuation of Programs in Fiscal Year 2008

Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2903(a), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1091, and Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2903(a), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1819, provided that: "Except as otherwise provided by an amendment made by this title [see Tables for classification], the Secretary of Agriculture shall continue to carry out any program or activity covered by title XII of the Food Security Act (16 U.S.C. 3801 et seq.) until September 30, 2008, using the provisions of law applicable to the program or activity as they existed on the day before the date of the enactment of this Act [June 18, 2008] and using funds made available under such title for fiscal year 2008 for the program or activity."

[Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 enacted identical provisions. Pub. L. 110–234 was repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as a note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.]

Reform and Assessment of Conservation Programs

Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2005, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 237, provided that:

"(a) In General.—The Secretary of Agriculture shall develop a plan to coordinate land retirement and agricultural working land conservation programs that are administered by the Secretary to achieve the goals of—

"(1) eliminating redundancy;

"(2) streamlining program delivery; and

"(3) improving services provided to agricultural producers (including the reevaluation of the provision of technical assistance).

"(b) Report.—Not later than December 31, 2005, the Secretary of Agriculture shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate, a report that describes—

"(1) the plan developed under subsection (a); and

"(2) the means by which the Secretary intends to achieve the goals described in subsection (a)."

Conservation Corridor Demonstration Program

Pub. L. 110–114, title V, §5059, Nov. 8, 2007, 121 Stat. 1215, which authorized the Secretary of the Army to provide technical assistance to the Secretary of Agriculture for use in carrying out the Conservation Corridor Demonstration Program established under subtitle G of title II of Pub. L. 107–171, formerly set out below, was repealed by Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2811(b), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4602.

Pub. L. 107–171, title II, subtitle G, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 275, which related to a Conservation Corridor Demonstration Program to integrate agriculture and forestry conservation programs of the Department of Agriculture with State and local efforts to address farm conservation needs on the Delmarva Peninsula, was repealed by Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2811(a), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4602.

Cranberry Acreage Reserve Program

Pub. L. 107–171, title X, §10608, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 515, which authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a program to purchase permanent easements in wetlands or buffer strips that were used or had a history of being used for the cultivation of cranberries and that were located in environmentally sensitive areas, was repealed by Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2812, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4602.

1 See References in Text note below.

SUBCHAPTER II—HIGHLY ERODIBLE LAND CONSERVATION

§3811. Program ineligibility

(a) In general

Except as provided in section 3812 of this title, and notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person who in any crop year produces an agricultural commodity on a field on which highly erodible land is predominant, or designates land on which highly erodible land is predominant to be set aside, diverted, devoted to conservation uses, or otherwise not cultivated under a program administered by the Secretary to reduce production of an agricultural commodity, as determined by the Secretary shall be ineligible for—

(1) as to any commodity produced during that crop year by such person—

(A) contract payments under a production flexibility contract, marketing assistance loans, and any type of price support or payment made available under the Agricultural Market Transition Act [7 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.], the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act (15 U.S.C. 714 et seq.), or any other Act;

(B) a farm storage facility loan made under section 4(h) of the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act (15 U.S.C. 714b(h));

(C) a disaster payment;

(D) a loan made, insured, or guaranteed under the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1921 et seq.) or any other provision of law administered by the Consolidated Farm Service Agency,1 if the Secretary determines that the proceeds of such loan will be used for a purpose that will contribute to excessive erosion of highly erodible land; or

(E) any portion of the premium paid by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation for a policy or plan of insurance under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.), on the condition that if a person is determined to have committed a violation under this subsection during a crop year, ineligibility under this subparagraph shall—

(i) only apply to reinsurance years subsequent to the date of final determination of a violation, including all administrative appeals; and

(ii) not apply to the existing reinsurance year or any reinsurance year prior to the date of final determination;


(2) a payment made under section 4 or 5 of the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act (15 U.S.C. 714b or 714c) during such crop year for the storage of an agricultural commodity acquired by the Commodity Credit Corporation; or

(3) during the crop year—

(A) a payment made pursuant to a contract entered into under the environmental quality incentives program under subpart A of part IV of subchapter IV;

(B) a payment under any other provision of subchapter IV;

(C) a payment under section 2201 or 2202 of this title; or

(D) a payment, loan, or other assistance under section 1003 or 1006a of this title.

(b) Highly erodible land

The Secretary shall have, and shall not delegate to any private person or entity, authority to determine whether a person has complied with this subchapter.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1211, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1506; Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1411, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3569; Pub. L. 102–237, title II, §204(1), Dec. 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 1854; Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §311, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 982; Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2002(a), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 233; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §§2611(a)(1), 2713(b), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 762, 772; Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2301(d)(1)(A), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4553.)

References in Text

The Agricultural Market Transition Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(1)(A), is title I of Pub. L. 104–127, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 896, which is classified principally to chapter 100 (§7201 et seq.) of Title 7, Agriculture. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 7201 of Title 7 and Tables.

The Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(1)(A), is act June 29, 1948, ch. 704, 62 Stat. 1070, as amended, which is classified generally to subchapter II (§714 et seq.) of chapter 15 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 714 of Title 15 and Tables.

The Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(1)(D), is title III of Pub. L. 87–128, Aug. 8, 1961, 75 Stat. 307, as amended, which is classified principally to chapter 50 (§1921 et seq.) of Title 7, Agriculture. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1921 of Title 7 and Tables.

The Federal Crop Insurance Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(1)(E), is subtitle A of title V of act Feb. 16, 1938, ch. 30, 52 Stat. 72, which is classified generally to subchapter I (§1501 et seq.) of chapter 36 of Title 7, Agriculture. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 1501 of Title 7 and Tables.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (a)(3)(A). Pub. L. 115–334 inserted "subpart A of" before "part IV".

2014—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 113–79, §2713(b), substituted "predominant" for "predominate" in two places in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (a)(1)(E). Pub. L. 113–79, §2611(a)(1), added subpar. (E).

2002Pub. L. 107–171 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), inserted heading, and added subsec. (b).

1996Pub. L. 104–127, §311(1), struck out "following December 23, 1985," before "any person who" in introductory provisions.

Par. (1)(A). Pub. L. 104–127, §311(2)(A), added subpar. (A) and struck out former subpar. (A) which read as follows: "any type of price support or payment made available under the Agricultural Act of 1949 (7 U.S.C. 1421 et seq.), the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act (15 U.S.C. 714 et seq.), or any other Act;".

Par. (1)(C). Pub. L. 104–127, §311(2)(B), (E), redesignated subpar. (D) as (C) and struck out former subpar. (C) which read as follows: "crop insurance under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.);".

Par. (1)(D). Pub. L. 104–127, §311(2)(E), redesignated subpar. (E) as (D). Former subpar. (D) redesignated (C).

Pub. L. 104–127, §311(2)(C), struck out before semicolon "made under the Agricultural Act of 1949 (7 U.S.C. 1421 et seq.), under section 132 of the Disaster Assistance Act of 1989 (7 U.S.C. 1421 note), or under any similar provision enacted subsequent to August 14, 1989".

Par. (1)(E). Pub. L. 104–127, §311(2)(D), (E), substituted "Consolidated Farm Service Agency" for "Farmers Home Administration" and redesignated subpar. (E) as (D).

Par. (3). Pub. L. 104–127, §311(3), added par. (3) and struck out former par. (3) which read as follows: "during such crop year—

"(A) a payment made under section 590h, section 590l or section 590p(b) of this title;

"(B) a payment made under section 2201 or section 2202 of this title;

"(C) a payment under any contract entered into pursuant to section 3831 of this title;

"(D) a payment under part II of subchapter IV of this chapter;

"(E) a payment under part III of subchapter IV of this chapter; or

"(F) a payment, loan or other assistance under section 1003 or section 1006a of this title."

1991—Par. (1)(D). Pub. L. 102–237, §204(1)(A), substituted "(7 U.S.C. 1421 note)" for "(16 U.S.C. 1421 note)".

Par. (3)(D), (E). Pub. L. 102–237, §204(1)(B), (C), made technical amendments to references to part II of subchapter IV of this chapter and part III of subchapter IV of this chapter, in subpars. (D) and (E), respectively, to clarify references in corresponding provisions of original Act.

1990Pub. L. 101–624, §1411(1), inserted ", or designates land on which highly erodible land is predominate to be set aside, diverted, devoted to conservation uses, or otherwise not cultivated under a program administered by the Secretary to reduce production of an agricultural commodity, as determined by the Secretary" after "is predominate" in first sentence.

Par. (1)(D). Pub. L. 101–624, §1411(2), inserted reference to section 132 of the Disaster Assistance Act of 1989 and similar provisions enacted after Aug. 14, 1989.

Par. (3). Pub. L. 101–624, §1411(3)–(5), added par. (3).

Change of Name

Consolidated Farm Service Agency effectively renamed Farm Service Agency by the amendments made to section 6932 of Title 7, Agriculture, by Pub. L. 115–334, title XII, §12404(a), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4974.

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §311, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 982, provided that the amendment made by that section is effective 90 days after Apr. 4, 1996.

Short Title

Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, subtitle B, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1506, which is classified generally to this subchapter, is popularly known as the sodbuster provisions.

Wind Erosion Estimation Pilot Project

Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §317, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 986, provided that:

"(a) In General.—The Secretary of Agriculture shall conduct a pilot project to review, and modify as appropriate, the use of wind erosion factors under the highly erodible conservation requirements of subtitle B of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3811 et seq.).

"(b) Selection of Counties and Producers.—The pilot project shall be conducted for producers in those counties that—

"(1) have approximately 100 percent of their cropland determined to be highly erodible under title XII of the Act [16 U.S.C. 3801 et seq.];

"(2) have a reasonable likelihood that the use of wind erosion factors under title XII of the Act have resulted in an inequitable application of the highly erodible land requirements of title XII of the Act; and

"(3) if the use of the land classification system under section 1201(a)(9)(A) of the Act [16 U.S.C. 3801(a)(9)(A)] (as redesignated by section 301(a)(1)) may result in a more accurate delineation of the cropland.

"(c) Errors in Delineation.—If the Secretary determines that a significant error has occurred in delineating cropland under the pilot project, the Secretary shall, at the request of the owners or operators of the cropland, conduct a new delineation of the cropland using the most accurate available delineation process, as determined by the Secretary."

1 See Change of Name note below.

§3812. Exemptions

(a) Persons eligible for program benefits in connection with production or reduced production of crops on certain lands; eligibility based upon compliance with conservation plan by January 1, 1995; minimization of documentation

(1) During the period beginning on December 23, 1985, and ending on the later of January 1, 1990, or the date that is 2 years after the date land on which a crop of an agricultural commodity is produced was mapped by the Soil Conservation Service for purposes of classifying such land under the land capability classification system in effect on December 23, 1985, except as provided in paragraph (2), no person shall become ineligible under section 3811 of this title for program loans, payments, and benefits as the result of the production of a crop of an agricultural commodity on any land that was—

(A) cultivated to produce any of the 1981 through 1985 crops of an agricultural commodity; or

(B) set aside, diverted or otherwise not cultivated under a program administered by the Secretary for any such crops to reduce production of an agricultural commodity.


(2) Eligibility based on compliance with conservation plan.—

(A) In general.—If, as of January 1, 1990, or 2 years after the Soil Conservation Service has completed a soil survey for the farm, whichever is later, a person is actively applying a conservation plan, such person shall have until January 1, 1995, to comply with the plan without being subject to program ineligibility.

(B) Minimization of documentation.—In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary, Soil Conservation Service, and local soil conservation districts shall minimize the quantity of documentation a person must submit to comply with this paragraph.

(C) Crop insurance.—

(i) Operations new to compliance.—Notwithstanding section 3811(a) of this title, in the case of a person that is subject to section 3811 of this title for the first time solely due to the amendment made by section 2611(a) of the Agricultural Act of 2014, any person who produces an agricultural commodity on the land that is the basis of the payments described in section 3811(a)(1)(E) of this title shall have 5 reinsurance years after the date on which such payments become subject to section 3811 of this title to develop and comply with an approved conservation plan so as to maintain eligibility for such payments.

(ii) Existing operations with prior violations.—Notwithstanding section 3811(a) of this title, in the case of a person that the Secretary determines would have been in violation of section 3811(a) of this title if the person had continued participation in the programs requiring compliance at any time after February 7, 2014, and is currently in violation of section 3811(a) of this title, the person shall have 2 reinsurance years after the date on which the payments described in section 3811(a)(1)(E) of this title become subject to section 3811 of this title to develop and comply with an approved conservation plan, as determined by the Secretary, so as to maintain eligibility for such payments.

(iii) Applicable reinsurance year.—Ineligibility for the payment described in section 3811(a)(1)(E) of this title for a violation under this subparagraph during a crop year shall—

(I) only apply to reinsurance years subsequent to the date of a final determination of a violation, including all administrative appeals; and

(II) not apply to the existing reinsurance year or any reinsurance year prior to the date of the final determination.


(3) Any person who owns or operates highly erodible land that was the subject of a contract entered into under subpart B of part I of subchapter IV shall only be required to apply a conservation plan established under this subchapter. The person shall not be required to meet a higher conservation standard than the standard applied to other highly erodible cropland located within the same area. If the person's conservation plan requires structures to be constructed, the person shall have until 2 years after the expiration of such contract to comply with the conservation plan, or a longer period of time if the Secretary determines compliance is otherwise technically or economically not feasible, or such longer period is otherwise appropriate, before such person will be subject to program ineligibility with respect to such land under section 3811 of this title.

(4) On the expiration of a contract entered into under subpart B of part I of subchapter IV, the provisions of this subchapter shall apply to the acreage that was the subject of such contract.

(b) Persons eligible for program benefits in connection with production of certain planted crops or production of crops on highly erodible land

No person shall become ineligible under section 3811 of this title for program loans, payments, and benefits as the result of the production of a crop of an agricultural commodity—

(1) planted before December 23, 1985; or

(2) planted during any crop year beginning before December 23, 1985.

(c) Ineligibility for loans and payments under section 3811

No person shall become ineligible under section 3811 of this title for program loans, payments, and benefits as the result of the production of a crop of an agricultural commodity or the designation of land to be set aside, diverted, devoted to conservation uses, or otherwise not cultivated under a program administered by the Secretary to reduce production of an agricultural commodity (hereafter in this subsection referred to as "set aside")—

(1) on highly erodible land in an area—

(A) within a conservation district, under a conservation system that has been approved by a conservation district after the district has determined that the conservation system is in conformity with technical standards set forth in the Soil Conservation Service technical guide for such district; or

(B) not within a conservation district, under a conservation system determined by the Secretary to be adequate for the protection of highly erodible land that has been set aside or for the production of such agricultural commodity on any highly erodible land subject to this chapter; or


(2) on highly erodible land that is planted or set aside in reliance on a determination by the Soil Conservation Service that such land was not highly erodible land, except that this paragraph shall not apply to any agricultural commodity that was planted or set aside on any land after the Soil Conservation Service determines that such land is highly erodible land; or

(3) on highly erodible land planted to alfalfa during each of the 1981 through 1985 crop years as part of a rotation practice approved by the Secretary, if the person has submitted a conservation plan, in which case, such person shall have until June 1, 1988, to comply with the plan without being subject to program ineligibility under section 3811 of this title.

(d) Program ineligibility inapplicable to pre-December 23, 1985, section 3811 loans

Section 3811 of this title shall not apply to a loan described in section 3811 of this title made before December 23, 1985.

(e) Limitations on ineligibility for tenants

If a tenant is determined to be ineligible for payments and other benefits under section 3811 of this title, the Secretary may limit such ineligibility only to the farm which is the basis for such ineligibility determination if—

(1) the tenant has established to the satisfaction of the Secretary that—

(A) the tenant has made a good faith effort to meet the requirements of this section, including enlisting the assistance of the Secretary to obtain a reasonable conservation plan for such farm; and

(B) the landlord on the farm refuses to comply with such plan on such farm; and


(2) the Secretary determines that such lack of compliance is not a part of a scheme or device to avoid such compliance.


The Secretary shall provide an annual report to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate concerning the ineligibility determinations limited during the previous 12-month period under this subsection.

(f) Graduated penalties

(1) Ineligibility

No person shall become ineligible under section 3811 of this title for program loans, payments, and benefits as a result of the failure of the person to actively apply a conservation plan, if the Secretary determines that the person has acted in good faith and without an intent to violate this subchapter.

(2) Eligible reviewers

A determination of the Secretary, or a designee of the Secretary, under paragraph (1) shall be reviewed by the applicable—

(A) State Executive Director, with the technical concurrence of the State Conservationist; or

(B) district director, with the technical concurrence of the area conservationist.

(3) Period for implementation

A person who meets the requirements of paragraph (1) shall be allowed a reasonable period of time, as determined by the Secretary, but not to exceed 1 year, during which to implement the measures and practices necessary to be considered to be actively applying the conservation plan of the person.

(4) Penalties

(A) Application

This paragraph applies if the Secretary determines that—

(i) a person has failed to comply with section 3811 of this title with respect to highly erodible cropland, and has acted in good faith and without an intent to violate section 3811 of this title; or

(ii) the violation—

(I) is technical and minor in nature; and

(II) has a minimal effect on the erosion control purposes of the conservation plan applicable to the land on which the violation has occurred.

(B) Reduction

If this paragraph applies under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall, in lieu of applying the ineligibility provisions of section 3811 of this title, reduce program benefits described in section 3811 of this title that the producer would otherwise be eligible to receive in a crop year by an amount commensurate with the seriousness of the violation, as determined by the Secretary.

(5) Subsequent crop years

Any person whose benefits are reduced for any crop year under this subsection shall continue to be eligible for all of the benefits described in section 3811 of this title for any subsequent crop year if, prior to the beginning of the subsequent crop year, the Secretary determines that the person is actively applying a conservation plan according to the schedule specified in the plan.

(g) Preparation or revision of conservation plan

The Secretary, in providing assistance to an individual in the preparation or revision of a conservation plan under this section, shall provide such individual with information—

(1) concerning cost effective and applicable erosion control measures that may be available to such individual to meet the requirements of this section; and

(2) concerning crop flexibility, base adjustment, and conservation assistance options that may be available to such individual to meet the requirements of this section, including the provisions of titles X, XII, and XIII of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (or the amendments made by such titles).

(h) Noncommercial production of agricultural commodities

Section 3811 of this title shall not apply to the noncommercial production of agricultural commodities on a farm if such production is limited to two acres or less and if the Secretary determines that such production is not intended to circumvent the conservation requirements otherwise applicable to lands under this subchapter.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1212, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1506; Pub. L. 100–28, §§2, 3, Apr. 24, 1987, 101 Stat. 291; Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1412, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3569; Pub. L. 102–237, title II, §204(2), Dec. 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 1854; Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §§301(d), 312–314, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 981–983; Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2002, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1027; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2002, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1755; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2611(a)(2), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 762.)

References in Text

Section 2611(a) of the Agricultural Act of 2014, referred to in subsec. (a)(2)(C)(i), is section 2611(a) of Pub. L. 113–79, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 762, which amended this section and sections 3811 and 3812a of this title.

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (c)(1)(B), was in the original "this title", meaning title XII of Pub. L. 99–198, which enacted this chapter and former section 2005a of this title and amended sections 590g, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2009 of this title, sections 4207 and 4209 of Title 7, Agriculture, and provisions set out as a note under section 1981 of Title 7.

The Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990, referred to in subsec. (g)(2), is Pub. L. 101–624, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3359, as amended. Title X of the Act enacted section 1446h of Title 7 and amended section 1425a of Title 7. Title XII of the Act, known as the Forest Stewardship Act of 1990, is classified principally to amended chapter 41 (§2101 et seq.) of this title. Title XIII of the Act enacted sections 138 to 138i and 499b–1 of Title 7, amended sections 499c, 608c, and 608e–1 of Title 7, and enacted provisions set out as notes under sections 499a and 1622 of Title 7. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 1990 Amendment note set out under section 1421 of Title 7 and Tables.

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Amendments

2014—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 113–79 inserted par. (2) heading, designated first sentence as subpar. (A) and inserted heading, designated second sentence as subpar. (B) and inserted heading, and added subpar. (C).

2008—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 110–246, §2002, added subsec. (f) and struck out former subsec. (f) which related to graduated sanctions.

1996—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 104–127, §301(d)(1), in first sentence, struck out "that documents the decisions of the person with respect to location, land use, tillage systems, and conservation treatment measures and schedule and that is based on the local Soil Conservation Service technical guide and approved by the local soil conservation district, in consultation with the local committees established under section 590h(b) of this title and the Secretary, or by the Secretary" after "applying a conservation plan".

Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 104–127, §312, substituted "shall only be required to apply a conservation plan established under this subchapter. The person shall not be required to meet a higher conservation standard than the standard applied to other highly erodible cropland located within the same area. If the person's conservation plan requires structures to be constructed, the person shall" for "shall, if the conservation plan established under this subchapter for such land requires structures to be constructed,".

Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 104–127, §301(d)(2), substituted ", in which case," for "based on the local Soil Conservation Service technical guide and approved by the local soil conservation district, in consultation with the local committees established under section 590h(b) of this title and the Secretary,".

Subsec. (e)(1)(A). Pub. L. 104–127, §301(d)(3), substituted "conservation plan" for "conservation compliance plan".

Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 104–127, §313(a), substituted "No person" for "Except to the extent provided in paragraph (2), no person" and substituted "the person has acted in good faith and without an intent to violate this subchapter. A person who meets the requirements of this paragraph shall be allowed a reasonable period of time, as determined by the Secretary, but not to exceed 1 year, during which to implement the measures and practices necessary to be considered to be actively applying the person's conservation plan." for "such person has—

"(A) not violated the provisions of section 3811 of this title within the previous 5 years on a farm; and

"(B) acted in good faith and without the intent to violate the provisions of this subchapter."

Pub. L. 104–127, §301(d)(4)(A), struck out "that documents the decisions of such person with respect to location, land use, tillage systems, and conservation treatment measures and schedules prepared under subsection (a) of this section" after "apply a conservation plan".

Subsec. (f)(2). Pub. L. 104–127, §313(b), substituted "with respect to highly erodible cropland that was not in production prior to December 23, 1985, and has acted in good faith and without an intent to violate the provisions" for "meets the requirements of paragraph (1)".

Subsec. (f)(3). Pub. L. 104–127, §301(d)(4)(B), struck out "prepared under subsection (a) of this section" after "a conservation plan".

Subsec. (f)(4). Pub. L. 104–127, §313(c), struck out concluding sentence which read as follows: "A determination or the granting of a variance by the Secretary under this paragraph shall not be counted as a violation for the purposes of paragraph (1)(A)."

Pub. L. 104–127, §301(d)(4)(C), in introductory provisions, struck out "that documents the decisions of such person with respect to location, land use, tillage systems, and conservation treatment measures and schedules prepared under subsection (a) of this section" after "apply a conservation plan".

Subsec. (f)(4)(C). Pub. L. 104–127, §314(1), substituted "problem, including weather, pest, and disease problems" for "problem".

Subsec. (f)(5). Pub. L. 104–127, §314(2), added par. (5).

1991—Subsec. (f)(4)(A). Pub. L. 102–237, §204(2)(A), substituted "such violation" for "such violations" after "which".

Subsec. (g)(2). Pub. L. 102–235, §204(2)(B), struck out comma after "XIII".

1990—Subsec. (a)(3), (4). Pub. L. 101–624, §1412(a), added pars. (3) and (4).

Subsec. (b)(1), (2). Pub. L. 101–624, §1412(b)(1), (2), inserted "or" in par. (1) and substituted a period for a semicolon in par. (2).

Subsec. (b)(3) to (5). Pub. L. 101–624, §1412(b)(4), redesignated pars. (3) to (5) as pars. (1) to (3), respectively, of subsec. (c).

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 101–624, §1412(b)(3), (4), added subsec. (c) introductory provisions, and redesignated former subsec. (c) as (d).

Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 101–624, §1412(b)(4), (5), redesignated par. (3) of subsec. (b) as par. (1) of subsec. (c) and in subpar. (B) inserted "for the protection of highly erodible land that has been set aside or" after "adequate".

Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 101–624, §1412(b)(4), (6), redesignated par. (4) of subsec. (b) as par. (2) of subsec. (c) and inserted "or set aside" in two places.

Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 101–624, §1412(b)(4), redesignated par. (5) of subsec. (b) as par. (3) of subsec. (c).

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 101–624, §1412(b)(3), redesignated subsec. (c) as (d).

Subsecs. (e) to (h). Pub. L. 101–624, §1412(c)–(f), added subsecs. (e) to (h).

1987—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 100–28, §3, inserted "that documents the decisions of the person with respect to location, land use, tillage systems, and conservation treatment measures and schedule and that is" after "conservation plan", and inserted at end "In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary, Soil Conservation Service, and local soil conservation districts shall minimize the quantity of documentation a person must submit to comply with this paragraph."

Subsec. (b)(5). Pub. L. 100–28, §2(b), added par. (5).

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

§3812a. Development and implementation of conservation plans and conservation systems

(a) Technical requirements

In connection with the standards and guidelines contained in Natural Resources Conservation Service field office technical guides applicable to the development and use of conservation measures and management practices as part of a conservation system, the Secretary shall ensure that the standards and guidelines permit a person to use a conservation system that—

(1) is technically and economically feasible;

(2) is based on local resource conditions and available conservation technology;

(3) is cost-effective; and

(4) does not cause undue economic hardship on the person applying the conservation system under the person's conservation plan.

(b) Measurement of erosion reduction

For the purpose of determining whether there is a substantial reduction in soil erosion on a field containing highly erodible cropland, the measurement of erosion reduction achieved by the application of a conservation system under a person's conservation plan shall be based on the estimated annual level of erosion at the time of the measurement compared to the estimated annual level of erosion that existed before the implementation of the conservation measures and management practices provided for in the conservation system.

(c) Residue measurement

(1) Responsibilities of the Secretary

For the purpose of measuring the level of residue on a field, the Secretary shall—

(A) take into account any residue incorporated into the top 2 inches of soil, as well as the growing crop, in the measurement;

(B) provide technical guidelines for acceptable residue measurement methods;

(C) provide a certification system for third parties to perform residue measurements; and

(D) provide for the acceptance and use of information and data voluntarily provided by the producer regarding the field.

(2) Acceptance of producer measurements

Annual residue measurements supplied by a producer (including measurements performed by a certified third party) shall be used by the Secretary if the Secretary determines that the measurements indicate that the residue level for the field meets the level required under the conservation plan.

(d) Certification of compliance

(1) In general

For the purpose of determining the eligibility of a person for program benefits specified in section 3811 of this title at the time application is made for the benefits, the Secretary shall permit the person to certify that the person is complying with the person's conservation plan.

(2) Status reviews

If a person makes a certification under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall not be required to carry out a review of the status of compliance of the person with the conservation plan under which the conservation system is being applied.

(3) Revisions and modifications

The Secretary shall permit a person who makes a certification under paragraph (1) with respect to a conservation plan to revise the conservation plan in any manner, if the same level of conservation treatment provided for by the conservation system under the person's conservation plan is maintained. The Secretary may not revise the person's conservation plan without the concurrence of the person.

(4) Crop insurance premium assistance

For the purpose of determining the eligibility of a person for the payment described in section 3811(a)(1)(E) of this title, the Secretary shall apply the procedures described in section 3821(c)(3)(E) of this title and coordinate the certification process so as to avoid duplication or unnecessary paperwork.

(e) Technical assistance

The Secretary shall, using available resources and consistent with the Secretary's other conservation responsibilities and objectives, provide technical assistance to a person throughout the development, revision, and application of the conservation plan and any conservation system of the person. At the request of the person, the Secretary may provide technical assistance regarding conservation measures and management practices for other lands of the person that do not contain highly erodible cropland.

(f) Encouragement of on-farm research

To encourage on-farm conservation research, the Secretary may allow a person to include in the person's conservation plan or a conservation system under the plan, on a field trial basis, practices that are not currently approved but that the Secretary considers have a reasonable likelihood of success.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1213, as added Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §315(a)(2), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 984; amended Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2611(a)(3), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 763.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 1213 of Pub. L. 99–198 was renumbered section 1214 and is classified to section 3813 of this title.

Amendments

2014—Subsec. (d)(4). Pub. L. 113–79 added par. (4).

§3813. Soil surveys

The Secretary shall, as soon as is practicable after December 23, 1985, complete soil surveys on those private lands that do not have a soil survey suitable for use in determining the land capability class for purposes of this subchapter. In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall, insofar as possible, concentrate on those localities where significant amounts of highly erodible land are being converted to the production of agricultural commodities.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1214, formerly §1213, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1507; renumbered §1214, Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §315(a)(1), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 983.)

§3814. Notice and investigation of possible compliance deficiencies

(a) In general

An employee of the Department of Agriculture who observes a possible compliance deficiency or other potential violation of a conservation plan or this subchapter while providing on-site technical assistance shall provide to the responsible persons, not later than 45 days after observing the possible violation, information regarding actions needed to comply with the plan and this subchapter. The employee shall provide the information in lieu of reporting the observation as a compliance violation.

(b) Corrective action

The responsible persons shall attempt to correct the deficiencies as soon as practicable after receiving the information.

(c) Review

If the corrective action is not fully implemented not later than 1 year after the responsible persons receive the information, the Secretary may conduct a review of the status of compliance of the persons with the conservation plan and this subchapter.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1215, as added Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §316, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 985.)

SUBCHAPTER III—WETLAND CONSERVATION

§3821. Program ineligibility

(a) Production on converted wetland

Except as provided in this subchapter and notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person who in any crop year produces an agricultural commodity on converted wetland, as determined by the Secretary, shall be—

(1) in violation of this section; and

(2) ineligible for loans or payments in an amount determined by the Secretary to be proportionate to the severity of the violation.

(b) Ineligibility for certain loans and payments

If a person is determined to have committed a violation under subsection (a) during a crop year, the Secretary shall determine which of, and the amount of, the following loans and payments for which the person shall be ineligible:

(1) Contract payments under a production flexibility contract, marketing assistance loans, and any type of price support or payment made available under the Agricultural Market Transition Act [7 U.S.C. 7201 et seq.], the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act (15 U.S.C. 714 et seq.), or any other Act.

(2) A loan made or guaranteed under the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1921 et seq.) or any other provision of law administered by the Consolidated Farm Service Agency,1 if the Secretary determines that the proceeds of the loan will be used for a purpose that will contribute to conversion of a wetland (other than as provided in this subchapter) to produce an agricultural commodity.

(3) During the crop year:

(A) A payment made pursuant to a contract entered into under the environmental quality incentives program under subpart A of part IV of subchapter IV.

(B) A payment under any other provision of subchapter IV.

(C) A payment under section 2201 or 2202 of this title.

(D) A payment, loan, or other assistance under section 1003 or 1006a of this title.

(c) Ineligibility for crop insurance premium assistance

(1) Requirements

(A) In general

If a person is determined to have committed a violation under subsection (a) or (d) during a crop year, the person shall be ineligible to receive any payment of any portion of premium paid by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation for a plan or policy of insurance under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) pursuant to this subsection.

(B) Applicability

Ineligibility under this subsection shall—

(i) only apply to reinsurance years subsequent to the date of a final determination of a violation, including all administrative appeals; and

(ii) not apply to the existing reinsurance year or any reinsurance year prior to the date of the final determination.

(2) Conversions

(A) In general

Notwithstanding paragraph (1), ineligibility for crop insurance premium assistance shall apply in accordance with this paragraph.

(B) New conversions

In the case of a wetland that the Secretary determines was converted after February 7, 2014—

(i) the person shall be ineligible to receive crop insurance premium subsidies in subsequent reinsurance years unless the Secretary determines that an exemption pursuant to section 3822 of this title applies; or

(ii) for any violation that the Secretary determines impacts less than 5 acres of an entire farm, the person may pay a contribution in an amount equal to 150 percent of the cost of mitigation, as determined by the Secretary, to the fund described in section 3841(f) of this title for wetland restoration in lieu of ineligibility to receive crop insurance premium assistance.

(C) Prior conversions

In the case of a wetland that the Secretary determines was converted prior to February 7, 2014, ineligibility under this subsection shall not apply.

(D) Conversions and new policies or plans of insurance

In the case of an agricultural commodity for which an individual policy or plan of insurance is available for the first time to the person after February 7, 2014—

(i) ineligibility shall apply only to conversions that take place after the date on which the policy or plan of insurance first becomes available to the person; and

(ii) the person shall take such steps as the Secretary determines appropriate to mitigate any prior conversion in a timely manner but not to exceed 2 reinsurance years.

(3) Limitations

(A) Mitigation required

Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, a person subject to a final determination, including all administrative appeals, of a violation described in subsection (d) shall have 1 reinsurance year to initiate a mitigation plan to remedy the violation, as determined by the Secretary, before becoming ineligible under this subsection in the following reinsurance year to receive any payment of any portion of the premium paid by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation for a policy or plan of insurance under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.).

(B) Persons covered for the first time

Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraph (1), in the case of a person that is subject to this subsection for the first time solely due to the amendment made by section 2611(b) of the Agricultural Act of 2014, the person shall have 2 reinsurance years after the reinsurance year in which a final determination is made, including all administrative appeals, of a violation described in this subsection to take such steps as the Secretary determines appropriate to remedy or mitigate the violation in accordance with this subsection.

(C) Good faith

If the Secretary determines that a person subject to a final determination, including all administrative appeals, of a violation described in this subsection acted in good faith and without intent to commit a violation described in this subsection as described in section 3822(h) of this title, the person shall have 2 reinsurance years to take such steps as the Secretary determines appropriate to remedy or mitigate the violation in accordance with this subsection.

(D) Tenant relief

(i) In general

If a tenant is determined to be ineligible for payments and other benefits under this subsection, the Secretary may limit the ineligibility only to the farm that is the basis for the ineligibility determination if the tenant has established, to the satisfaction of the Secretary that—

(I) the tenant has made a good faith effort to meet the requirements of this section, including enlisting the assistance of the Secretary to obtain a reasonable plan for restoration or mitigation for the farm;

(II) the landlord on the farm refuses to comply with the plan on the farm; and

(III) the Secretary determines that the lack of compliance is not a part of a scheme or device to avoid the compliance.

(ii) Report

The Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate an annual report concerning the ineligibility determinations limited during the previous 12-month period under this subparagraph.

(E) Certificate of compliance

(i) In general

Beginning with the first full reinsurance year immediately following February 7, 2014, all persons seeking eligibility for the payment of a portion of the premium paid by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation for a policy or plan of insurance under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.) shall provide certification of compliance with this section as determined by the Secretary.

(ii) Timely evaluation

The Secretary shall evaluate the certification in a timely manner and—

(I) a person who has properly complied with certification shall be held harmless with regard to eligibility during the period of evaluation; and

(II) if the Secretary fails to evaluate the certification in a timely manner and the person is subsequently found to be in violation of this subsection, ineligibility shall not apply to the person for that violation.

(iii) Equitable contribution

(I) In general

If a person fails to notify the Secretary as required and is subsequently found to be in violation of this subsection, the Secretary shall—

(aa) determine the amount of an equitable contribution to conservation by the person for the violation; and

(bb) deposit the contribution in the fund described in section 3841(f) of this title.

(II) Limitation

The contribution shall not exceed the total of the portion of the premium paid by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation for a policy or plan of insurance for all years the person is determined to have been in violation subsequent to the date on which certification was first required under this subparagraph.

(4) Duties of the Secretary

(A) In general

In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary shall use existing processes and procedures for certifying compliance.

(B) Responsibility

The Secretary, acting through the agencies of the Department of Agriculture, shall be solely responsible for determining whether a producer is eligible to receive crop insurance premium subsidies in accordance with this subsection.

(C) Limitation

The Secretary shall ensure that no agent, approved insurance provider, or employee or contractor of an agency or approved insurance provider, bears responsibility or liability for the eligibility of an insured producer under this subsection, other than in cases of misrepresentation, fraud, or scheme and device.

(d) Wetland conversion

(1) In general

Except as provided in section 3822 of this title and notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person who in any crop year beginning after November 28, 1990, converts a wetland by draining, dredging, filling, leveling, or any other means for the purpose, or to have the effect, of making the production of an agricultural commodity possible on such converted wetland shall be ineligible for those payments, loans, or programs specified in subsection (b) for that crop year and all subsequent crop years.

(2) Duty of the Secretary

No person shall become ineligible under paragraph (1) if the Secretary determines that an exemption under section 3822(b) of this title applies to that person.

(e) Prior loans

This section shall not apply to a loan described in subsection (b) made before December 23, 1985.

(f) Wetland

The Secretary shall have, and shall not delegate to any private person or entity, authority to determine whether a person has complied with this subchapter.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1221, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1507; Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1421(b), Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3572; Pub. L. 102–237, title II, §204(3), Dec. 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 1855; Pub. L. 102–552, title III, §308(a), Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 4116; Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §321, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 986; Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2002(b), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 233; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2611(b), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 763; Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §§2101, 2301(d)(1)(B), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4530, 4553.)

References in Text

The Agricultural Market Transition Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(1), is title I of Pub. L. 104–127, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 896, which is classified principally to chapter 100 (§7201 et seq.) of Title 7, Agriculture. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 7201 of Title 7 and Tables.

The Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(1), is act June 29, 1948, ch. 704, 62 Stat. 1070, as amended, which is classified generally to subchapter II (§714 et seq.) of chapter 15 of Title 15, Commerce and Trade. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 714 of Title 15 and Tables.

The Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(2), is title III of Pub. L. 87–128, Aug. 8, 1961, 75 Stat. 307, as amended, which is classified principally to chapter 50 (§1921 et seq.) of Title 7, Agriculture. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1921 of Title 7 and Tables.

The Federal Crop Insurance Act, referred to in subsec. (c)(1)(A), (3)(A), (E)(i), is subtitle A of title V of act Feb. 16, 1938, ch. 30, 52 Stat. 72, which is classified generally to subchapter I (§1501 et seq.) of chapter 36 of Title 7, Agriculture. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 1501 of Title 7 and Tables.

Section 2611(b) of the Agricultural Act of 2014, referred to in subsec. (c)(3)(B), is section 2611(b) of Pub. L. 113–79, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 763, which amended this section.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (b)(3)(A). Pub. L. 115–334, §2301(d)(1)(B), inserted "subpart A of" before "part IV".

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 115–334, §2101, designated existing provisions as par. (1), inserted heading, and added par. (2).

2014—Subsecs. (c) to (f). Pub. L. 113–79 added subsec. (c) and redesignated former subsecs. (c) to (e) as (d) to (f), respectively.

2002—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 107–171 added subsec. (e).

1996Pub. L. 104–127, §321(a)(2), reenacted section catchline without change.

Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 104–127, §321(a)(2), added subsec. (a) and struck out former subsec. (a) which related to ineligibility of persons producing an agricultural commodity on converted wetland to receive certain Federal payments, loans, insurance benefits, and other benefits.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 104–127, §321(a)(2), added subsec. (b). Former subsec. (b) redesignated (c).

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 104–127, §321(b)(1), inserted heading and substituted "beginning after November 28, 1990," for "subsequent to November 28, 1990," and "subsection (b)" for "subsections (a)(1) through (3)".

Pub. L. 104–127, §321(a)(1), redesignated subsec. (b) as (c).

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 104–127, §321(b)(2), added subsec. (d).

1992—Subsec. (a)(1)(D). Pub. L. 102–552 made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 102–237. See 1991 Amendment note below.

1991—Subsec. (a)(1)(D). Pub. L. 102–237, as amended by Pub. L. 102–552, substituted "(7 U.S.C. 1421 note)" for "(16 U.S.C. 1421 note)".

1990—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 101–624, §1421(b)(1), designated existing provisions as subsec. (a).

Subsec. (a)(1)(D). Pub. L. 101–624, §1421(b)(2), inserted reference to section 132 of the Disaster Assistance Act of 1989 and similar provisions enacted after Aug. 14, 1989.

Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 101–624, §1421(b)(3)–(5), added par. (3).

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 101–624, §1421(b)(6), added subsec. (b).

Change of Name

Consolidated Farm Service Agency effectively renamed Farm Service Agency by the amendments made to section 6932 of Title 7, Agriculture, by Pub. L. 115–334, title XII, §12404(a), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4974.

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §326, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 992, provided that: "This subtitle [subtitle C (§§321–326) of title III of Pub. L. 104–127, enacting section 3823 of this title, amending this section and section 3822 of this title, and repealing former section 3823 of this title] and the amendments made by this subtitle shall become effective 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act [Apr. 4, 1996]."

Short Title

Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, subtitle C, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1507, which is classified generally to this subchapter, is popularly known as the swampbuster provisions.

1 See Change of Name note below.

§3822. Delineation of wetlands; exemptions

(a) Delineation by Secretary

(1) In general

Subject to subsection (b) and paragraph (6), the Secretary shall delineate, determine, and certify all wetlands located on subject land on a farm.

(2) Wetland delineation maps

The Secretary shall delineate wetlands on wetland delineation maps. On the request of a person, the Secretary shall make a reasonable effort to make an on-site wetland determination prior to delineation.

(3) Certification

On providing notice to affected persons, the Secretary shall—

(A) certify whether a map is sufficient for the purpose of making a determination of ineligibility for program benefits under section 3821 of this title; and

(B) provide an opportunity to appeal the certification prior to the certification becoming final.

(4) Duration of certification

A final certification made under paragraph (3) shall remain valid and in effect as long as the area is devoted to an agricultural use or until such time as the person affected by the certification requests review of the certification by the Secretary.

(5) Review of mapping on appeal

In the case of an appeal of the Secretary's certification, the Secretary shall review and certify the accuracy of the mapping of all land subject to the appeal to ensure that the subject land has been accurately delineated. Prior to rendering a decision on the appeal, the Secretary shall conduct an on-site inspection of the subject land on a farm.

(6) Reliance on prior certified delineation

No person shall be adversely affected because of having taken an action based on a previous certified wetland delineation by the Secretary. The delineation shall not be subject to a subsequent wetland certification or delineation by the Secretary, unless requested by the person under paragraph (4).

(b) Exemptions

No person shall become ineligible under section 3821 of this title for program loans or payments under the following circumstances:

(1) As the result of the production of an agricultural commodity on the following lands:

(A) A converted wetland if the conversion of the wetland was commenced before December 23, 1985.

(B) Land that is a nontidal drainage or irrigation ditch excavated in upland.

(C) A wet area created by a water delivery system, irrigation, irrigation system, or application of water for irrigation.

(D) A wetland on which the owner or operator of a farm or ranch uses normal cropping or ranching practices to produce an agricultural commodity in a manner that is consistent for the area where the production is possible as a result of a natural condition, such as drought, and is without action by the producer that destroys a natural wetland characteristic.

(E) Land that is an artificial lake or pond created by excavating or diking land (that is not a wetland) to collect and retain water and that is used primarily for livestock watering, fish production, irrigation, wildlife, fire control, flood control, cranberry growing, or rice production, or as a settling pond.

(F) A wetland that is temporarily or incidentally created as a result of adjacent development activity.

(G) A converted wetland if the original conversion of the wetland was commenced before December 23, 1985, and the Secretary determines the wetland characteristics returned after that date as a result of—

(i) the lack of maintenance of drainage, dikes, levees, or similar structures;

(ii) a lack of management of the lands containing the wetland; or

(iii) circumstances beyond the control of the person.


(H) A converted wetland, if—

(i) the converted wetland was determined by the Natural Resources Conservation Service to have been manipulated for the production of an agricultural commodity or forage prior to December 23, 1985, and was returned to wetland conditions through a voluntary restoration, enhancement, or creation action subsequent to that determination;

(ii) technical determinations regarding the prior site conditions and the restoration, enhancement, or creation action have been adequately documented by the Natural Resources Conservation Service;

(iii) the proposed conversion action is approved by the Natural Resources Conservation Service prior to implementation; and

(iv) the extent of the proposed conversion is limited so that the conditions will be at least equivalent to the wetland functions and values that existed prior to implementation of the voluntary wetland restoration, enhancement, or creation action.


(2) For the conversion of the following:

(A) An artificial lake or pond created by excavating or diking land that is not a wetland to collect and retain water and that is used primarily for livestock watering, fish production, irrigation, wildlife, fire control, flood control, cranberry growing, rice production, or as a settling pond.

(B) A wetland that is temporarily or incidentally created as a result of adjacent development activity.

(C) A wetland on which the owner or operator of a farm or ranch uses normal cropping or ranching practices to produce an agricultural commodity in a manner that is consistent for the area where the production is possible as a result of a natural condition, such as drought, and is without action by the producer that destroys a natural wetland characteristic.

(D) A wetland previously identified as a converted wetland (if the original conversion of the wetland was commenced before December 23, 1985), but that the Secretary determines returned to wetland status after that date as a result of—

(i) the lack of maintenance of drainage, dikes, levees, or similar structures;

(ii) a lack of management of the lands containing the wetland; or

(iii) circumstances beyond the control of the person.


(E) A wetland, if—

(i) the wetland was determined by the Natural Resources Conservation Service to have been manipulated for the production of an agricultural commodity or forage prior to December 23, 1985, and was returned to wetland conditions through a voluntary restoration, enhancement, or creation action subsequent to that determination;

(ii) technical determinations regarding the prior site conditions and the restoration, enhancement, or creation action have been adequately documented by the Natural Resources Conservation Service;

(iii) the proposed conversion action is approved by the Natural Resources Conservation Service prior to implementation; and

(iv) the extent of the proposed conversion is limited so that the conditions will be at least equivalent to the wetland functions and values that existed prior to implementation of the voluntary wetland restoration, enhancement, or creation action.

(c) On-site inspection requirement

(1) In general

No program loans, payments, or benefits shall be withheld from a person under this subchapter unless the Secretary has conducted an on-site visit of the subject land, which, except as provided in paragraph (2), shall be conducted in the presence of the affected person.

(2) Exception

The Secretary may conduct an on-site visit under paragraph (1) without the affected person present if the Secretary has made a reasonable effort to include the presence of the affected person at the on-site visit.

(d) Identification of minimal effect exemptions

For purposes of applying the minimal effect exemption under subsection (f)(1), the Secretary shall identify by regulation categorical minimal effect exemptions on a regional basis to assist persons in avoiding a violation of the ineligibility provisions of section 3821 of this title. The Secretary shall ensure that employees of the Department of Agriculture who administer this subchapter receive appropriate training to properly apply the minimal effect exemptions determined by the Secretary.

(e) Nonwetlands

The Secretary shall exempt from the ineligibility provisions of section 3821 of this title any action by a person upon lands in any case in which the Secretary determines that any one of the following does not apply with respect to such lands:

(1) Such lands have a predominance of hydric soils.

(2) Such lands are inundated or saturated by surface or groundwater at a frequency and duration sufficient to support a prevalence of hydrophytic vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions.

(3) Such lands, under normal circumstances, support a prevalence of such vegetation.

(f) Minimal effect; mitigation

The Secretary shall exempt a person from the ineligibility provisions of section 3821 of this title for any action associated with the production of an agricultural commodity on a converted wetland, or the conversion of a wetland, if 1 or more of the following conditions apply, as determined by the Secretary:

(1) The action, individually and in connection with all other similar actions authorized by the Secretary in the area, will have a minimal effect on the functional hydrological and biological value of the wetlands in the area, including the value to waterfowl and wildlife.

(2) The wetland and the wetland values, acreage, and functions are mitigated by the person through the restoration of a converted wetland, the enhancement of an existing wetland, or the creation of a new wetland, and the restoration, enhancement, or creation is—

(A) in accordance with a wetland conservation plan;

(B) in advance of, or concurrent with, the action;

(C) not at the expense of the Federal Government;

(D) in the case of enhancement or restoration of wetlands, on not greater than a 1-for-1 acreage basis unless more acreage is needed to provide equivalent functions and values that will be lost as a result of the wetland conversion to be mitigated;

(E) in the case of creation of wetlands, on greater than a 1-for-1 acreage basis if more acreage is needed to provide equivalent functions and values that will be lost as a result of the wetland conversion that is mitigated;

(F) on lands in the same general area of the local watershed as the converted wetland; and

(G) with respect to the restored, enhanced, or created wetland, made subject to an easement that—

(i) is recorded on public land records;

(ii) remains in force for as long as the converted wetland for which the restoration, enhancement, or creation to be mitigated remains in agricultural use or is not returned to its original wetland classification with equivalent functions and values; and

(iii) prohibits making alterations to the restored, enhanced, or created wetland that lower the wetland's functions and values.


(3) The wetland was converted after December 23, 1985, but before November 28, 1990, and the wetland values, acreage, and functions are mitigated by the producer through the requirements of subparagraphs (A), (B), (C), (D), (F), and (G) of paragraph (2).

(4) The action was authorized by a permit issued under section 1344 of title 33 and the wetland values, acreage, and functions of the converted wetland were adequately mitigated for the purposes of this subchapter.

(g) Mitigation appeals

A person shall be afforded the right to appeal, under section 3843 1 of this title, the imposition of a mitigation agreement requiring greater than one-to-one acreage mitigation to which the person is subject.

(h) Good faith exemption

(1) Exemption described

The Secretary may waive a person's ineligibility under section 3821 of this title for program loans, payments, and benefits as the result of the conversion of a wetland subsequent to November 28, 1990, or the production of an agricultural commodity on a converted wetland, if the Secretary determines that the person has acted in good faith and without intent to violate this subchapter.

(2) Eligible reviewers

A determination of the Secretary, or a designee of the Secretary, under paragraph (1) shall be reviewed by the applicable—

(A) State Executive Director, with the technical concurrence of the State Conservationist; or

(B) district director, with the technical concurrence of the area conservationist.

(3) Period for compliance

The Secretary shall provide a person who the Secretary determines has acted in good faith and without intent to violate this subchapter with a reasonable period, but not to exceed 1 year, during which to implement the measures and practices necessary to be considered to be actively restoring the subject wetland.

(i) Restoration

Any person who is determined to be ineligible for program benefits under section 3821 of this title for any crop year shall not be ineligible for such program benefits under such section for any subsequent crop year if, prior to the beginning of such subsequent crop year, the person has fully restored the characteristics of the converted wetland to its prior wetland state or has otherwise mitigated for the loss of wetland values, as determined by the Secretary, through the restoration, enhancement, or creation of wetland values in the same general area of the local watershed as the converted wetland.

(j) Determinations; restoration and mitigation plans; monitoring activities

Technical determinations, the development of restoration and mitigation plans, and monitoring activities under this section shall be made by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

(k) Mitigation banking

(1) Mitigation banking program

(A) In general

Using authorities available to the Secretary, the Secretary shall operate a program or work with third parties to establish mitigation banks to assist persons in complying with the provisions of this section while mitigating any loss of wetland values and functions.

(B) Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out this paragraph $5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023.

(2) Applicability

Subsection (f)(2)(C) shall not apply to this subsection.

(3) Policy and criteria

The Secretary shall develop the appropriate policy and criteria that will allow willing persons to access existing mitigation banks, under this section or any other authority, that will serve the purposes of this section without requiring the Secretary to hold an easement, in whole or in part, in a mitigation bank.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1222, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1508; Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1422, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3573; Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §322, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 987; Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2003, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1028; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2003, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1756; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2609, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 761; Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §§2102, 2103, 2821(b), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4530, 4602.)

References in Text

Section 3843 of this title, referred to in subsec. (g), was omitted and a new section 3843 was added in the general amendment of subchapter V of this chapter by Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §341, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1008. The new section 3843, which did not relate to appeal procedures, was subsequently repealed by Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2710(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 770.

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 115–334, §2102, designated existing provisions as par. (1), inserted heading, inserted ", which, except as provided in paragraph (2), shall be conducted in the presence of the affected person" before period at end, and added par. (2).

Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 115–334, §2821(b), substituted "Natural Resources Conservation Service" for "National Resources Conservation Service".

Subsec. (k)(1)(B). Pub. L. 115–334, §2103, amended subpar. (B) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "Of the funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Secretary shall use $10,000,000, to remain available until expended, to carry out this paragraph."

2014—Subsec. (k). Pub. L. 113–79 amended subsec. (k) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "Using authorities available to the Secretary, the Secretary may operate a pilot program for mitigation banking of wetlands to assist persons to increase the efficiency of agricultural operations while protecting wetland functions and values. Subsection (f)(2)(C) of this section shall not apply to this subsection."

2008—Subsec. (h)(2), (3). Pub. L. 110–246, §2003, added par. (2), redesignated former par. (2) as (3), and inserted "be" before "actively".

1996—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 104–127, §322(a), added subsec. (a) and struck out heading and text of former subsec. (a). Text consisted of pars. (1) to (4) relating to delineation of wetlands.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 104–127, §322(b), added subsec. (b) and struck out heading and text of former subsec. (b). Text consisted of pars. (1)(A) to (D) and (2)(A) and (B) relating to exemptions.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 104–127, §322(c), added subsec. (d) and struck out heading and text of former subsec. (d). Text read as follows: "Section 3821 of this title shall not apply to a loan described in section 3821 of this title made before December 23, 1985."

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 104–127, §322(d), added subsec. (f) and struck out heading and text of former subsec. (f). Text consisted of pars. (1) to (3) relating to minimal effect and mitigation exemptions.

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 104–127, §322(e), which directed substitution of "person" for "producer", was executed by making the substitution in two places.

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 104–127, §322(f), added subsec. (h) and struck out heading and text of former subsec. (h). Text consisted of pars. (1) to (3) relating to good faith exemptions to ineligibility under section 3821 of this title and graduated sanctions.

Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 104–127, §322(g), inserted before period at end "or has otherwise mitigated for the loss of wetland values, as determined by the Secretary, through the restoration, enhancement, or creation of wetland values in the same general area of the local watershed as the converted wetland".

Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 104–127, §322(h), added subsec. (j) and struck out heading and text of former subsec. (j). Text provided that technical determinations and the development of restoration and mitigation plans be made through agreement of local representative of Soil Conservation Service and representative of the Fish and Wildlife Service and required reporting of determinations and monitoring.

Subsec. (k). Pub. L. 104–127, §322(i), added subsec. (k).

1990Pub. L. 101–624 amended section generally, substituting present provisions for provisions relating to eligibility for program benefits in connection with production of crops on certain wetlands, making program ineligibility inapplicable to pre-Dec. 23, 1985, section 3821 loans, and providing for personal exemptions from program ineligibility for actions associated with production of commodities having minimal wetland effect.

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–127 effective 90 days after Apr. 4, 1996, see section 326 of Pub. L. 104–127, set out as a note under section 3821 of this title.

1 See References in Text note below.

§3823. Affiliated persons

If a person is affected by a reduction in benefits under section 3821 of this title and the affected person is affiliated with other persons for the purpose of receiving the benefits, the benefits of each affiliated person shall be reduced under section 3821 of this title in proportion to the interest held by the affiliated person.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1223, as added Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §324, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 992.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 3823, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1223, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1508; Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1423, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3576; Pub. L. 102–237, title II, §204(4), Dec. 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 1855, related to consultation with Secretary of the Interior, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §§323, 326, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 992, effective 90 days after Apr. 4, 1996.

Effective Date

Section effective 90 days after Apr. 4, 1996, see section 326 of Pub. L. 104–127, set out as an Effective Date of 1996 Amendment note under section 3821 of this title.

§3824. Fairness of compliance

If the actions of an unrelated person or public entity, outside the control of, and without the prior approval of, the landowner or tenant result in a change in the characteristics of cropland that would cause the land to be determined to be a wetland, the affected land shall not be considered to be wetland for purposes of this subchapter.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1224, as added Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1424, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3576.)

SUBCHAPTER IV—AGRICULTURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION PROGRAM

Part I—Comprehensive Conservation Enhancement Program

subpart a—general provisions

§3830. Repealed. Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2701, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 766

Section, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1230, as added Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1431(2), Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3576; amended Pub. L. 103–66, title I, §1402(a), Aug. 10, 1993, 107 Stat. 332; Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §331, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 992; Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2006(b), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 237, related to comprehensive conservation enhancement program.

Conservation Assistance

Pub. L. 106–224, title II, §211, June 20, 2000, 114 Stat. 406, as amended by Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2503(b)(1)(B), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 269, authorized Secretary to use $40,000,000 of funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to provide financial assistance to farmers and ranchers to address threats to soil, water, and related natural resources, including grazing land, wetland, and wildlife habitat; comply with Federal and State environmental laws; and make beneficial, cost-effective changes to cropping systems, grazing management, manure, nutrient, pest, or irrigation management, land uses, or other measures needed to conserve and improve soil, water, and related natural resources.

Farmland Protection Program

Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §388, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1020, directed Secretary of Agriculture to establish and carry out a farmland protection program, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2503(b)(1)(A), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 269.

[Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2503(b)(2), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 269, provided that: "The amendment made by paragraph (1)(A) [repealing section 388 of Pub. L. 104–127, formerly set out above] shall have no effect on any contract entered into under section 388 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 [Pub. L. 104–127] (16 U.S.C. 3830 note) that is in effect as of the date of enactment of this Act [May 13, 2002]."]

§3830a. Repealed. Pub. L. 107–171, title I, §1613(j)(3), title II, §2006(c), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 221, 237

Section, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1230A, as added Pub. L. 106–387, §1(a) [title VII, §755], Oct. 28, 2000, 114 Stat. 1549, 1549A-42, related to good faith reliance.

subpart b—conservation reserve

Codification

Subchapter B of chapter 1 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985, comprising this subpart, was originally designated in Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1509, by Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §§1431(1), 1432(1), Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3576, 3577, and amended by Pub. L. 99–500, Oct. 18, 1986, 100 Stat. 1783, and Pub. L. 99–591, Oct. 30, 1986, 100 Stat. 3341; Pub. L. 99–641, Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3556; Pub. L. 100–233, Jan. 6, 1988, 101 Stat. 1568; Pub. L. 100–387, Aug. 11, 1988, 102 Stat. 924; Pub. L. 101–512, Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1915; Pub. L. 101–624, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3359; Pub. L. 102–237, Dec. 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 1818; Pub. L. 102–324, July 22, 1992, 106 Stat. 447; Pub. L. 102–552, Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 4102; Pub. L. 103–66, Aug. 10, 1993, 107 Stat. 312; Pub. L. 104–127, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 888; Pub. L. 106–78, Oct. 22, 1999, 113 Stat. 1135; Pub. L. 106–387, Oct. 28, 2000, 114 Stat. 1549; Pub. L. 107–76, Nov. 28, 2001, 115 Stat. 704. Subchapter B is shown herein, however, as having been added by Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2101(a), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 238, without reference to the intervening amendments because of the extensive revision of the subchapter's provisions by Pub. L. 107–171.

§3831. Conservation reserve

(a) In general

Through the 2023 fiscal year, the Secretary shall formulate and carry out a conservation reserve program under which land is enrolled through the use of contracts to assist owners and operators of land specified in subsection (b) to conserve and improve the soil, water, and wildlife resources of such land and to address issues raised by State, regional, and national conservation initiatives.

(b) Eligible land

The Secretary may include in the program established under this subpart—

(1) highly erodible cropland that—

(A)(i) if permitted to remain untreated could substantially reduce the agricultural production capability for future generations; or

(ii) cannot be farmed in accordance with a plan that complies with the requirements of subchapter II; and

(B) the Secretary determines had a cropping history or was considered to be planted for 4 of the 6 years preceding December 20, 2018, on the condition that the Secretary shall consider to be planted cropland enrolled in the conservation reserve program;


(2) marginal pasture land to be devoted to appropriate vegetation, including trees, in or near riparian areas, or devoted to similar water quality purposes (including marginal pastureland converted to wetland or established as wildlife habitat);

(3) grasslands that—

(A) contain forbs or shrubland (including improved rangeland and pastureland) for which grazing is the predominant use;

(B) are located in an area historically dominated by grasslands; and

(C) could provide habitat for animal and plant populations of significant ecological value if the land is retained in its current use or restored to a natural condition;


(4) cropland, marginal pasture land, and grasslands that will have a positive impact on water quality and will be devoted to—

(A) a grass sod waterway;

(B) a contour grass sod strip;

(C) a prairie strip;

(D) a filterstrip;

(E) a riparian buffer;

(F) a wetland or a wetland buffer;

(G) a saturated buffer;

(H) a bioreactor; or

(I) another similar water quality practice, as determined by the Secretary;


(5) cropland that is otherwise ineligible if the Secretary determines that—

(A) if permitted to remain in agricultural production, the land would—

(i) contribute to the degradation of soil, water, or air quality; or

(ii) pose an on-site or off-site environmental threat to soil, water, or air quality;


(B) the land is a—

(i) newly-created, permanent grass sod waterway; or

(ii) a contour grass sod strip established and maintained as part of an approved conservation plan;


(C) the land will be devoted to newly established living snow fences, permanent wildlife habitat, windbreaks, shelterbelts, salt tolerant vegetation, field borders, or practices to benefit State or federally identified wellhead protection areas;

(D) the land poses an off-farm environmental threat, or a threat of continued degradation of productivity due to soil salinity, if permitted to remain in production; or

(E) enrollment of the land would facilitate a net savings in groundwater or surface water resources of the agricultural operation of the producer;


(6) the portion of land in a field not enrolled in the conservation reserve in a case in which—

(A) more than 50 percent of the land in the field is enrolled as a buffer or filterstrip, or more than 75 percent of the land in the field is enrolled as a conservation practice other than as a buffer or filterstrip; and

(B) the remainder of the field is—

(i) infeasible to farm; and

(ii) enrolled at regular rental rates; or


(7) as determined by the Secretary, land—

(A) that was enrolled in the conservation reserve program under a 15-year contract that expired on September 30, 2017, or September 30, 2018;

(B) for which there was no opportunity for additional enrollment in that program; and

(C) on which the conservation practice under the expired contract under subparagraph (A) is maintained.

(c) Planting status of certain land

For purposes of determining the eligibility of land to be placed in the conservation reserve established under this subpart, land shall be considered to be planted to an agricultural commodity during a crop year if, during the crop year, the land was devoted to a conserving use.

(d) Enrollment

(1) Maximum acreage enrolled

The Secretary may maintain in the conservation reserve at any one time during—

(A) fiscal year 2019, not more than 24,000,000 acres;

(B) fiscal year 2020, not more than 24,500,000 acres;

(C) fiscal year 2021, not more than 25,000,000 acres;

(D) fiscal year 2022, not more than 25,500,000 acres; and

(E) fiscal year 2023, not more than 27,000,000 acres.

(2) Grasslands

(A) Limitation

For purposes of applying the limitations in paragraph (1)—

(i) the Secretary shall enroll and maintain in the conservation reserve not fewer than 2,000,000 acres of the land described in subsection (b)(3) by September 30, 2023; and

(ii) in carrying out clause (i), to the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall maintain in the conservation reserve at any one time during—

(I) fiscal year 2019, 1,000,000 acres;

(II) fiscal year 2020, 1,500,000 acres; and

(III) fiscal years 2021 through 2023, 2,000,000 acres.

(B) Priority

In enrolling acres under subparagraph (A), the Secretary may give priority to land, as determined by the Secretary—

(i) with expiring conservation reserve contracts;

(ii) at risk of conversion or development; or

(iii) of ecological significance, including land that—

(I) may assist in the restoration of threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.);

(II) may assist in preventing a species from being listed as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.); or

(III) improves or creates wildlife habitat corridors.

(C) Method of enrollment

(i) In general

In enrolling acres under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall make the program available to owners or operators of eligible land on an annual enrollment basis with one or more ranking periods.

(ii) Timing of grassland ranking period

For purposes of grasslands described in subsection (b)(3), the Secretary shall announce at least 1 ranking period subsequent to the announcement of general enrollment offers.

(D) Reservation of unenrolled acres

If the Secretary is unable in a fiscal year to enroll enough acres of land described in subsection (b)(3) to meet the number of acres described in clause (ii) or (iii) 1 of subparagraph (A) for the fiscal year—

(i) the Secretary shall reserve the remaining number of acres for that fiscal year for the enrollment of land described in subsection (b)(3); and

(ii) that number of acres shall not be available for the enrollment of any other type of eligible land.

(3) Water quality practices to foster clean lakes, estuaries, and rivers (clear initiative)

(A) In general

The Secretary shall give priority within continuous enrollment under paragraph (6) to the enrollment of land described in subsection (b)(4).

(B) Sediment and nutrient loadings

In carrying out subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall give priority to the implementation of practices on land that, if enrolled, will help reduce sediment loadings, nutrient loadings, and harmful algal blooms, as determined by the Secretary.

(C) Acreage

(i) In general

Of the acres maintained in the conservation reserve in accordance with paragraph (1), to the maximum extent practicable, not less than 40 percent of acres enrolled in the conservation reserve using continuous enrollment under paragraph (6) shall be of land described in subsection (b)(4).

(ii) Limitation

The acres described in clause (i) shall not include grasslands described in subsection (b)(3).

(D) Report

The Secretary shall—

(i) in the monthly publication of the Secretary describing conservation reserve program statistics, include a description of enrollments through the priority under this paragraph; and

(ii) publish on the website of the Farm Service Agency an annual report describing a summary of, with respect to the enrollment priority under this paragraph—

(I) new enrollments;

(II) expirations;

(III) geographic distribution; and

(IV) estimated water quality benefits.

(4) State enrollment rates

At the beginning of each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023, to the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall allocate to the States proportionately 60 percent of the available number of acres each year for enrollment in the conservation reserve, in accordance with historical State enrollment rates, taking into consideration—

(A) the average number of acres of all land enrolled in the conservation reserve in each State during each of fiscal years 2007 through 2016;

(B) the average number of acres of all land enrolled in the conservation reserve nationally during each of fiscal years 2007 through 2016; and

(C) the acres available for enrollment during each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023, excluding acres described in paragraph (2).

(5) Frequency

In carrying out this subpart, for contracts that are not available on a continuous enrollment basis, the Secretary shall hold a signup and enrollment not less often than once each year.

(6) Continuous enrollment procedure

(A) In general

To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall allow producers to submit applications on a continuous basis for enrollment in—

(i) the conservation reserve of—

(I) marginal pasture land described in subsection (b)(2);

(II) land described in subsection (b)(4); and

(III) cropland described in subsection (b)(5); and


(ii) the conservation reserve enhancement program under section 3831a of this title.

(B) Limitation

For purposes of applying the limitations in paragraph (1)—

(i) the Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, enroll and maintain not fewer than 8,600,000 acres of land under subparagraph (A) by September 30, 2023; and

(ii) in carrying out clause (i), to the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall maintain in the conservation reserve at any one time during—

(I) fiscal year 2019, 8,000,000 acres;

(II) fiscal year 2020, 8,250,000 acres;

(III) fiscal year 2021, 8,500,000 acres; and

(IV) fiscal years 2022 and 2023, 8,600,000 acres.

(e) Duration of contract

(1) In general

For the purpose of carrying out this subpart, the Secretary shall enter into contracts of not less than 10, nor more than 15, years.

(2) Special rule for certain land

In the case of land devoted to hardwood trees, shelterbelts, windbreaks, or wildlife corridors under a contract entered into under this subpart, the owner or operator of the land may, within the limitations prescribed under paragraph (1), specify the duration of the contract.

(f) Conservation priority areas

(1) Designation

On application by the appropriate State agency, the Secretary shall designate areas of special environmental sensitivity as conservation priority areas.

(2) Eligible areas

Areas eligible for designation under this subsection shall include areas with actual and significant adverse water quality or habitat impacts related to agricultural production activities.

(3) Expiration

Conservation priority area designation under this subsection shall expire after 5 years, subject to redesignation, except that the Secretary may withdraw an area's designation if the Secretary finds that the area no longer contains actual and significant adverse water quality or habitat impacts related to agricultural production activities.

(4) Duty of Secretary

In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary shall attempt to maximize water quality and habitat benefits in the watersheds described in paragraph (1) by promoting a significant level of enrollment of land within the watersheds in the program under this subpart by whatever means the Secretary determines are appropriate and consistent with the purposes of this subpart.

(g) Multi-year grasses and legumes

(1) In general

For purposes of this subpart, alfalfa and other multi-year grasses and legumes in a rotation practice, approved by the Secretary, shall be considered agricultural commodities.

(2) Cropping history

Alfalfa, when grown as part of a rotation practice, as determined by the Secretary, is an agricultural commodity subject to the cropping history criteria under subsection (b)(1)(B) for the purpose of determining whether highly erodible cropland has been planted or considered planted for 4 of the 6 years referred to in such subsection.

(h) Eligibility for consideration

(1) In general

On the expiration of a contract entered into under this subpart, the land subject to the contract shall be eligible to be considered for reenrollment in the conservation reserve.

(2) Reenrollment limitation for certain land

(A) In general

Except as provided in subparagraph (B), land subject to a contract entered into under this subpart shall be eligible for only one reenrollment in the conservation reserve under paragraph (1) if the land is devoted to hardwood trees.

(B) Exclusions

Subparagraph (A) shall not apply to—

(i) riparian forested buffers;

(ii) forested wetlands enrolled under subsection (d)(3) or the conservation reserve enhancement program under section 3831a of this title; and

(iii) shelterbelts.

(i) Balance of natural resource purposes

In determining the acceptability of contract offers under this subpart, the Secretary shall ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, an equitable balance among the conservation purposes of soil erosion, water quality, and wildlife habitat.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1231, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2101(a), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 238; amended Pub. L. 109–148, div. B, title I, §107(a), Dec. 30, 2005, 119 Stat. 2750; Pub. L. 109–234, title III, §3022, June 15, 2006, 120 Stat. 478; Pub. L. 110–28, title IV, §4101, May 25, 2007, 121 Stat. 152; Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §§2101–2105, 2106(a)(2), (b)(1), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1028, 1029, 1031, 1032; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §§2101–2105, 2106(a)(2), (b)(1), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1756, 1757, 1759, 1760; Pub. L. 112–240, title VII, §701(c)(1), Jan. 2, 2013, 126 Stat. 2363; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2001, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 713; Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2201, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4530.)

References in Text

The Endangered Species Act of 1973, referred to in subsec. (d)(2)(B)(iii)(I), (II), is Pub. L. 93–205, Dec. 28, 1973, 87 Stat. 884, which is classified principally to chapter 35 (§1531 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1531 of this title and Tables.

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 3831, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1231, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1509; Pub. L. 99–500, §101(a) [title VI, §643], Oct. 18, 1986, 100 Stat. 1783, 1783-36, and Pub. L. 99–591, §101(a) [title VI, §643], Oct. 30, 1986, 100 Stat. 3341, 3341-36; Pub. L. 99–641, title II, §205, Nov. 10, 1986, 100 Stat. 3563; Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §§1432(2), 1447(a), Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3577, 3605; Pub. L. 102–324, §1(a), July 22, 1992, 106 Stat. 447; Pub. L. 103–66, title I, §1402(b), Aug. 10, 1993, 107 Stat. 332; Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §332(a)(1), (b), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 994; Pub. L. 106–387, §1(a) [title XI, §1102(a)], Oct. 28, 2000, 114 Stat. 1549, 1549A-75; Pub. L. 107–76, title VII, §758(a), Nov. 28, 2001, 115 Stat. 741, related to a conservation reserve program to be formulated and carried out by the Secretary through the 2002 calendar year, prior to the general amendment of this subpart by Pub. L. 107–171.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 115–334, §2201(a), substituted "2023" for "2018".

Subsec. (b)(1)(B). Pub. L. 115–334, §2201(b)(1), substituted "4 of the 6 years preceding December 20, 2018, on the condition that the Secretary shall consider to be planted cropland enrolled in the conservation reserve program" for "4 of the 6 years preceding February 7, 2014 (except for land enrolled in the conservation reserve program as of that date)".

Subsec. (b)(4). Pub. L. 115–334, §2201(b)(3), added par. (4). Former par. (4) redesignated (5).

Subsec (b)(5). Pub. L. 115–334, §2201(b)(2), (4)(A), redesignated par. (4) as (5) and substituted "salt tolerant vegetation, field borders, or practices to benefit State or federally identified wellhead protection areas" for "or filterstrips or riparian buffers devoted to trees, shrubs, or grasses" in subpar. (C). Former par. (5) redesignated (6).

Subsec. (b)(6). Pub. L. 115–334, §2201(b)(2), redesignated par. (5) as (6).

Subsec. (b)(7). Pub. L. 115–334, §2201(b)(4)(B)–(6), added par. (7).

Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 115–334, §2201(c)(1), added subpars. (A) to (E) and struck out former subpars. (A) to (E) which read as follows:

"(A) fiscal year 2014, no more than 27,500,000 acres;

"(B) fiscal year 2015, no more than 26,000,000 acres;

"(C) fiscal year 2016, no more than 25,000,000 acres;

"(D) fiscal year 2017, no more than 24,000,000 acres; and

"(E) fiscal year 2018, no more than 24,000,000 acres."

Subsec. (d)(2)(A). Pub. L. 115–334, §2201(c)(2)(A), added subpar. (A) and struck out former subpar. (A). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "For purposes of applying the limitations in paragraph (1), no more than 2,000,000 acres of the land described in subsection (b)(3) may be enrolled in the program at any one time during the 2014 through 2018 fiscal years."

Subsec. (d)(2)(B). Pub. L. 115–334, §2201(c)(2)(A), added subpar. (B) and struck out former subpar. (B). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "In enrolling acres under subparagraph (A), the Secretary may give priority to land with expiring conservation reserve program contracts."

Subsec. (d)(2)(C). Pub. L. 115–334, §2201(c)(2)(B), designated existing provisions as cl. (i), inserted heading, substituted "an annual enrollment basis" for "a continuous enrollment basis", and added cl. (ii).

Subsec. (d)(2)(D). Pub. L. 115–334, §2201(c)(2)(C), added subpar. (D).

Subsec. (d)(3) to (6). Pub. L. 115–334, §2201(c)(3), added pars. (3) to (6).

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 115–334, §2201(d), designated existing provisions as par. (1), inserted heading, and added par. (2).

2014—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 113–79, §2001(a), substituted "2018" for "2012".

Subsec. (b)(1)(B). Pub. L. 113–79, §2001(b)(1), substituted "February 7, 2014" for "the date of enactment of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008".

Subsec. (b)(2), (3). Pub. L. 113–79, §2001(b)(2), (3), redesignated par. (3) as (2), added par. (3), and struck out former par. (2) which read as follows: "marginal pasture land converted to wetland or established as wildlife habitat prior to November 28, 1990;".

Subsec. (b)(4)(C). Pub. L. 113–79, §2001(b)(4), substituted "filterstrips or riparian buffers devoted to trees, shrubs, or grasses" for "filterstrips devoted to trees or shrubs".

Subsec. (b)(5). Pub. L. 113–79, §2001(b)(5), added par. (5) and struck out former par. (5) which read as follows: "the portion of land in a field not enrolled in the conservation reserve in a case in which more than 50 percent of the land in the field is enrolled as a buffer, if—

"(A) the land is enrolled as part of the buffer; and

"(B) the remainder of the field is—

"(i) infeasible to farm; and

"(ii) enrolled at regular rental rates."

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 113–79, §2001(c), substituted "if, during the crop year, the land was devoted to a conserving use." for "if—" and struck out pars. (1) and (2) which read as follows:

"(1) during the crop year, the land was devoted to a conserving use; or

"(2)(A) during the crop year or during any of the 2 years preceding the crop year, the land was enrolled in the water bank program; and

"(B) the contract of the owner or operator of the cropland expired or will expire in calendar year 2000, 2001, or 2002."

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 113–79, §2001(d), amended subsec. (d) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The Secretary may maintain up to 39,200,000 acres in the conservation reserve at any 1 time during the 2002 through 2009 fiscal years (including contracts extended by the Secretary pursuant to section 1437(c) of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (16 U.S.C. 3831 note; Public Law 101–624)). During fiscal years 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, the Secretary may maintain up to 32,000,000 acres in the conservation reserve at any 1 time."

Subsec. (e)(2), (3). Pub. L. 113–79, §2001(e), added par. (2) and struck out former pars. (2) and (3) which related to duration of contracts for certain land and 1-year extensions, respectively.

Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 113–79, §2001(f)(1), struck out "watershed areas of the Chesapeake Bay Region, the Great Lakes Region, the Long Island Sound Region, and other" before "areas of special".

Subsec. (f)(2). Pub. L. 113–79, §2001(f)(2), substituted "areas" for "watersheds" in heading and "Areas" for "Watersheds" in text.

Subsec. (f)(3). Pub. L. 113–79, §2001(f)(3), substituted "an area's designation if the Secretary finds that the area no longer contains actual and significant adverse water quality or habitat impacts related to agricultural production activities." for "a watershed's designation—" and struck out subpars. (A) and (B) which read as follows:

"(A) on application by the appropriate State agency; or

"(B) in the case of an area covered by this subsection, if the Secretary finds that the area no longer contains actual and significant adverse water quality or habitat impacts related to agricultural production activities."

2013—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 112–240 substituted "2012, and 2013" for "and 2012".

2008—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 110–246, §2101, substituted "2012 fiscal year" for "2007 calendar year" and inserted "and to address issues raised by State, regional, and national conservation initiatives" before period at end.

Subsec. (b)(1)(B). Pub. L. 110–246, §2102(1), substituted "the date of enactment of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008" for "May 13, 2002" and substituted semicolon for period at end.

Subsec. (b)(4)(C) to (E). Pub. L. 110–246, §2102(2), in subpar. (C) struck out "or" at end, in subpar. (D) substituted "or" for "and" at end, and in subpar. (E) inserted "or" at end.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 110–246, §2103, substituted "2009 fiscal years" for "2007 calendar years" and "(16 U.S.C." for "( 16 U.S.C." and inserted at end "During fiscal years 2010, 2011, and 2012, the Secretary may maintain up to 32,000,000 acres in the conservation reserve at any 1 time."

Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 110–246, §2104, substituted "the Chesapeake Bay Region" for "the Chesapeake Bay Region (Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia)".

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 110–246, §2105, amended subsec. (g) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "For purposes of this subpart, alfalfa and other multi-year grasses and legumes in a rotation practice, approved by the Secretary, shall be considered agricultural commodities."

Subsecs. (h) to (j). Pub. L. 110–246, §2106(a)(2), redesignated subsecs. (i) and (j) as (h) and (i), respectively, and struck out former subsec. (h) which related to pilot program for enrollment of wetland and buffer acreage in conservation reserve during 2002 through 2007 calendar years.

Subsec. (k). Pub. L. 110–246, §2106(b)(1), renumbered subsec. (k) as section 3831a of this title.

2007—Subsec. (k)(2). Pub. L. 110–28 substituted "The" for "During calendar year 2006, the".

2006—Subsec. (k)(3)(G). Pub. L. 109–234 substituted "$504,100,000" for "$404,100,000".

2005—Subsec. (k). Pub. L. 109–148 added subsec. (k).

Effective Date of 2013 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–240 effective Sept. 30, 2012, see section 701(j) of Pub. L. 112–240, set out in a 1-Year Extension of Agricultural Programs note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

Regulations

Pub. L. 106–387, §1(a) [title XI, §1105], Oct. 28, 2000, 114 Stat. 1549, 1549A-78, required the Secretary of Agriculture, as soon as practicable after Oct. 28, 2000, to promulgate regulations to implement the amendments by section 1(a) [title XI] of Pub. L. 106–387, amending former sections 3831 and 3832 of this title.

Eligible Land; State Law Requirements

Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2209, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4551, provided that: "The Secretary shall revise paragraph (4) of section 1410.6(d) of title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, to provide that land enrolled under a Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program agreement initially established before January 1, 2014 (including an amended or successor Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program agreement, as determined by the Secretary), shall not be ineligible for enrollment in the conservation reserve program established under subchapter B of chapter 1 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3831 et seq.) under that paragraph if the Deputy Administrator (as defined in section 1410.2(b) of title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (or successor regulations)), on recommendation from and in consultation with the applicable State technical committee established under section 1261(a) of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3861(a)) determines, under such terms and conditions as the Deputy Administrator, in consultation with the State technical committee, determines to be appropriate, that making that land eligible for enrollment in that program is not contrary to the purposes of that program."

Effect on Existing Contracts

Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2008, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 720, provided that:

"(a) In General.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), the amendments made by this subtitle [subtitle A (§§2001–2008) of title II of Pub. L. 113–79, amending this section and sections 3831b and 3832 to 3835 of this title and repealing section 3835a of this title] shall not affect the validity or terms of any contract entered into by the Secretary of Agriculture under subchapter B of chapter 1 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3831 et seq.) before the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014 [Feb. 7, 2014], or any payments required to be made in connection with the contract.

"(b) Updating of Existing Contracts.—The Secretary shall permit an owner or operator of land subject to a contract entered into under subchapter B of chapter 1 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3831 et seq.) before the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014 [Feb. 7, 2014], to update the contract to reflect the activities and uses of land under contract permitted under the terms and conditions of section 1233(b) of that Act [16 U.S.C. 3833(b)] (as amended by section 2004), as determined appropriate by the Secretary."

Study on Economic Effects

Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2101(b), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 252, provided that:

"(1) In general.—Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act [May 13, 2002], the Secretary of Agriculture shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report that describes the economic and social effects on rural communities resulting from the conservation reserve program established under subchapter B of chapter 1 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3831 et seq.).

"(2) Components.—The study under paragraph (1) shall include analyses of—

"(A) the impact that enrollments in the conservation reserve program have on rural businesses, civic organizations, and community services (such as schools, public safety, and infrastructure), particularly in communities with a large percentage of whole farm enrollments;

"(B) the effect that those enrollments have on rural population and beginning farmers (including a description of any connection between the rate of enrollment and the incidence of absentee ownership);

"(C)(i) the manner in which differential per acre payment rates potentially impact the types of land (by productivity) enrolled;

"(ii) changes to the per acre payment rates that may affect that impact; and

"(iii) the manner in which differential per acre payment rates could facilitate retention of productive agricultural land in agriculture; and

"(D) the effect of enrollment on opportunities for recreational activities (including hunting and fishing)."

Study of Impact of Pilot Program

Pub. L. 106–387, §1(a) [title XI, §1104], Oct. 28, 2000, 114 Stat. 1549, 1549A-78, required the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a study of the impact of the pilot program established under former section 3831(h) of this title, as added by section 1(a) [title XI, §1102(a)] of Pub. L. 106–387, and to report on the results of the study to committees of Congress not later than Mar. 1, 2003.

Study of Land Use for Expiring Contracts and Extension of Authority

Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1437, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3584, which required the Secretary of Agriculture to conduct a study of cropland subject to expiring conservation reserve contracts entered into prior to Nov. 28, 1990, and to report on the study to committees of Congress not later than Dec. 31, 1993, and authorized the Secretary, during calendar years 1996 to 2000, to extend up to 10 years contracts entered into under this subpart prior to Nov. 28, 1990, or to purchase long-term or permanent easements as provided for in former part III of this subchapter, at the option of the owner or operator on land that the Secretary has determined under the study should remain in conserving uses, was repealed by Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2815, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4602.

Existing Conservation Programs

Pub. L. 99–263, Mar. 24, 1986, 100 Stat. 59, provided: "That the conservation reserve program shall not replace or reduce any existing conservation program."

1 So in original. There is no cl. (iii) of subpar. (A).

§3831a. Conservation reserve enhancement program

(a) Definitions

In this section:

(1) CREP

The term "CREP" means a conservation reserve enhancement program carried out under subsection (b)(1).

(2) Eligible land

The term "eligible land" means land that is eligible to be included in the program established under this subpart.

(3) Eligible partner

The term "eligible partner" means—

(A) a State;

(B) a political subdivision of a State;

(C) an Indian tribe (as defined in section 5304 of title 25); or

(D) a nongovernmental organization.

(4) Management

The term "management" means an activity conducted by an owner or operator under a contract entered into under this subpart after the establishment of a conservation practice on eligible land, to regularly maintain or enhance the vegetative cover established by the conservation practice—

(A) throughout the term of the contract; and

(B) consistent with the conservation plan that covers the eligible land.

(b) Agreements

(1) In general

The Secretary may enter into an agreement with an eligible partner to carry out a conservation reserve enhancement program—

(A) to assist in enrolling eligible land in the program established under this subpart; and

(B) that the Secretary determines will advance the purposes of this subpart.

(2) Contents

An agreement entered into under paragraph (1) shall—

(A) describe—

(i) 1 or more specific State or nationally significant conservation concerns to be addressed by the agreement;

(ii) quantifiable environmental goals for addressing the concerns under clause (i);

(iii) a suitable acreage goal for enrollment of eligible land under the agreement, as determined by the Secretary;

(iv) the location of eligible land to be enrolled in the project area identified under the agreement;

(v) the payments to be offered by the Secretary and eligible partner to an owner or operator; and

(vi) an appropriate list of conservation reserve program conservation practices that are appropriate to meeting the concerns described under clause (i), as determined by the Secretary in consultation with eligible partners;


(B) subject to subparagraph (C), require the eligible partner to provide matching funds—

(i) in an amount determined during a negotiation between the Secretary and 1 or more eligible partners, if the majority of the matching funds to carry out the agreement are provided by 1 or more eligible partners that are not nongovernmental organizations; or

(ii) in an amount not less than 30 percent of the cost required to carry out the conservation measures and practices described in the agreement, if a majority of the matching funds to carry out the agreement are provided by 1 or more nongovernmental organizations; and


(C) include procedures to allow for a temporary waiver of the matching requirements under subparagraph (B), or continued enrollment with a temporary suspension of incentives or eligible partner contributions for new agreements, during a period when an eligible partner loses the authority or ability to provide matching contributions, if the Secretary determines that the temporary waiver or continued enrollment with a temporary suspension will advance the purposes of this subpart.

(3) Effect on existing agreements

(A) In general

Subject to subparagraph (B), an agreement under this subsection shall not affect, modify, or interfere with existing agreements under this subpart.

(B) Modification of existing agreements

To implement this section, the signatories to an agreement under this subsection may mutually agree to a modification of an agreement entered into before December 20, 2018, under the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program established by the Secretary under this subpart.

(c) Payments

(1) Matching requirement

Funds provided by an eligible partner may be in cash, in-kind contributions, or technical assistance, as determined by the Secretary.

(2) Marginal pastureland cost-share payments

The Secretary shall ensure that cost-share payments to an owner or operator to install stream fencing, crossings, and alternative water development on marginal pastureland under a CREP reflect the fair market value of the cost of installation.

(3) Cost-share and practice incentive payments

(A) In general

On request of an owner or operator, the Secretary shall provide cost-share payments when a major component of a conservation practice is completed under a CREP, as determined by the Secretary.

(B) Exemption

For purposes of implementing conservation practices on land enrolled under a CREP, the Secretary may waive the contribution limitation described in section 3834(b)(2)(A) of this title.

(4) Riparian buffer management payments

(A) In general

In the case of an agreement under subsection (b)(1) that includes riparian buffers as an eligible practice, the Secretary shall make cost-share payments to encourage the regular management of the riparian buffer throughout the term of the agreement, consistent with the conservation plan that covers the eligible land.

(B) Limitation

The amount of payments received by an owner or operator under subparagraph (A) shall not be greater than 100 percent of the normal and customary projected management cost, as determined by the Secretary, in consultation with the applicable State technical committee established under section 3861(a) of this title.

(d) Forested riparian buffer practice

(1) Food-producing woody plants

In the case of an agreement under subsection (b)(1) that includes forested riparian buffers as an eligible practice, the Secretary shall allow an owner or operator—

(A) to plant food-producing woody plants in the forested riparian buffers, on the conditions that—

(i) the plants shall contribute to the conservation of soil, water quality, and wildlife habitat; and

(ii) the planting shall be consistent with—

(I) recommendations of the applicable State technical committee established under section 3861(a) of this title; and

(II) technical guide standards of the applicable field office of the Natural Resources Conservation Service; and


(B) to harvest from plants described in subparagraph (A), on the conditions that—

(i) the harvesting shall not damage the conserving cover or otherwise have a negative impact on the conservation concerns targeted by the CREP;

(ii) only native plant species appropriate to the region shall be used within 35 feet of the watercourse; and

(iii) the producer shall be subject to a reduction in the rental rate commensurate to the value of the crop harvested.

(2) Technical assistance

For the purpose of enrolling forested riparian buffers in a CREP, the Administrator of the Farm Service Agency shall coordinate with the applicable State forestry agency.

(e) Drought and water conservation agreements

In the case of an agreement under subsection (b)(1) to address regional drought concerns, in accordance with the conservation purposes of the CREP, the Secretary, in consultation with the applicable State technical committee established under section 3861(a) of this title, may—

(1) notwithstanding subsection (a)(2), enroll other agricultural land on which the resource concerns identified in the agreement can be addressed if the enrollment of the land is critical to the accomplishment of the purposes of the agreement;

(2) permit dryland agricultural uses with the adoption of best management practices on enrolled land if the agreement involves the significant long-term reduction of consumptive water use and dryland production is compatible with the agreement; and

(3) calculate annual rental payments consistent with existing administrative practice for similar drought and water conservation agreements under this subchapter and ensure regional consistency in those rates.

(f) Status report

Not later than 180 days after the end of each fiscal year, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report that describes, with respect to each agreement entered into under subsection (b)(1)—

(1) the status of the agreement;

(2) the purposes and objectives of the agreement;

(3) the Federal and eligible partner commitments made under the agreement; and

(4) the progress made in fulfilling those commitments.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1231A, as added Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2202(a), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4534.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 3831a, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1231A, as added and amended Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2106(b), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1032, and Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2106(b), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1760, related to emergency forestry conservation reserve program, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2702(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 766.

Repeal of Former Section 3831a; Transitional Provisions

Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2702, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 766, provided that:

"(a) Repeal.—Except as provided in subsection (b), section 1231A of the Food Security Act of 1985 ([former] 16 U.S.C. 3831a) is repealed.

"(b) Transitional Provisions.—

"(1) Effect on existing contracts and agreements.—The amendment made by this section shall not affect the validity or terms of any contract or agreement entered into by the Secretary of Agriculture under section 1231A of the Food Security Act of 1985 ([former] 16 U.S.C. 3831a) before the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014 [Feb. 7, 2014], or any payments required to be made in connection with the contract or agreement.

"(2) Funding.—The Secretary [of Agriculture] may use funds made available to carry out the conservation reserve program under subchapter B of chapter 1 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3831 et seq.) to continue to carry out contracts or agreements referred to in paragraph (1) using the provisions of law and regulation applicable to such contracts or agreements as in existence on the day before the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014."

§3831b. Farmable wetland program

(a) Program required

(1) In general

During the 2008 through 2023 fiscal years, the Secretary shall carry out a farmable wetland program in each State under which the Secretary shall enroll eligible acreage described in subsection (b).

(2) Participation among States

The Secretary shall ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that owners and operators in each State have an equitable opportunity to participate in the program established under this section.

(b) Eligible acreage

(1) Wetland and related land

Subject to subsections (c) and (d), an owner or operator may enroll in the conservation reserve, pursuant to the program established under this section, land—

(A) that is wetland (including a converted wetland described in section 3822(b)(1)(A) of this title) that had a cropping history during at least 3 of the immediately preceding 10 crop years;

(B) on which a constructed wetland is to be developed that will receive surface and subsurface flow from row crop agricultural production and is designed to provide nitrogen removal in addition to other wetland functions;

(C) that was devoted to commercial pond-raised aquaculture in any year during the period of calendar years 2002 through 2007; or

(D) that, after January 1, 1990, and before December 31, 2002, was—

(i) cropped during at least 3 of 10 crop years; and

(ii) subject to the natural overflow of a prairie wetland.

(2) Buffer acreage

Subject to subsections (c) and (d), an owner or operator may enroll in the conservation reserve, pursuant to the program established under this section, buffer acreage that—

(A) with respect to land described in subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (1)—

(i) is contiguous to such land;

(ii) is used to protect such land; and

(iii) is of such width as the Secretary determines is necessary to protect such land, taking into consideration and accommodating the farming practices (including the straightening of boundaries to accommodate machinery) used with respect to the cropland that surrounds such land; and


(B) with respect to land described in subparagraph (D) of paragraph (1), enhances a wildlife benefit to the extent practicable in terms of upland to wetland ratios, as determined by the Secretary.

(c) Program limitations

(1) Acreage limitation

The Secretary may enroll in the conservation reserve, pursuant to the program established under this section, not more than—

(A) 100,000 acres in any State; and

(B) a total of 750,000 acres.

(2) Relationship to maximum enrollment

Subject to paragraph (3), any acreage enrolled in the conservation reserve under this section shall be considered acres maintained in the conservation reserve.

(3) Relationship to other enrolled acreage

Acreage enrolled in the conservation reserve under this section shall not affect for any fiscal year the quantity of—

(A) acreage enrolled to establish conservation buffers as part of the program announced on March 24, 1998 (63 Fed. Reg. 14109); or

(B) acreage enrolled into the conservation reserve enhancement program announced on May 27, 1998 (63 Fed. Reg. 28965).

(4) Review; potential increase in enrollment acreage

The Secretary shall conduct a review of the program established under this section with respect to each State that has enrolled land in the conservation reserve pursuant to the program. As a result of the review, the Secretary may increase the number of acres that may be enrolled in a State under the program to not more than 200,000 acres, notwithstanding paragraph (1)(A).

(d) Owner or operator enrollment limitations

(1) Wetland and related land

(A) Wetlands and constructed wetlands

The maximum size of any land described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of subsection (b)(1) that an owner or operator may enroll in the conservation reserve, pursuant to the program established under this section, shall be 40 contiguous acres.

(B) Flooded farmland

The maximum size of any land described in subparagraph (D) of subsection (b)(1) that an owner or operator may enroll in the conservation reserve, pursuant to the program established under this section, shall be 20 contiguous acres.

(C) Coverage

All acres described in subparagraph (A) or (B), including acres that are ineligible for payment, shall be covered by the conservation contract.

(2) Buffer acreage

The maximum size of any buffer acreage described in subsection (b)(2) that an owner or operator may enroll in the conservation reserve under this section shall be determined by the Secretary in consultation with the State Technical Committee.

(3) Tracts

Except for land described in subsection (b)(1)(C) and buffer acreage related to such land, the maximum size of any eligible acreage described in subsection (b)(1) in a tract of an owner or operator enrolled in the conservation reserve under this section shall be 40 acres.

(e) Duties of owners and operators

During the term of a contract entered into under the program established under this section, an owner or operator shall agree—

(1) to restore the hydrology of the wetland within the eligible acreage to the maximum extent practicable, as determined by the Secretary;

(2) to establish vegetative cover (which may include emerging vegetation in water and bottomland hardwoods, cypress, and other appropriate tree species) on the eligible acreage, as determined by the Secretary;

(3) to a general prohibition of commercial use of the enrolled land; and

(4) to carry out other duties described in section 3832 of this title.

(f) Duties of the Secretary

(1) In general

Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), in return for a contract entered into under this section, the Secretary shall—

(A) make payments to the owner or operator based on rental rates for cropland; and

(B) provide assistance to the owner or operator in accordance with sections 3833 and 3834 of this title.

(2) Contract offers and payments

The Secretary shall use the method of determination described in section 3834(d) of this title to determine the acceptability of contract offers and the amount of rental payments under this section.

(3) Incentives

The amounts payable to owners and operators in the form of rental payments under contracts entered into under this section shall reflect incentives that are provided to owners and operators to enroll filterstrips in the conservation reserve under section 3834 of this title.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1231B, as added Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2106(a)(1), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1029, and Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2106(a)(1), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1757; amended Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2002, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 714; Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §§2203, 2821(c), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4538, 4603.)

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 enacted identical sections. Pub. L. 110–234 was repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Prior Provisions

Provisions similar to those comprising this section were contained in section 3831(h) of this title prior to repeal by Pub. L. 110–246.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 115–334, §2203(1), substituted "2023" for "2018".

Subsec. (b)(2)(A)(i). Pub. L. 115–334, §2821(c), inserted semicolon at end.

Subsec. (f)(2). Pub. L. 115–334, §2203(2), substituted "3834(d)" for "3834(d)(2)(A)(ii)".

2014Pub. L. 113–79, §2002(d)(1), substituted "Farmable wetland program" for "Pilot program for enrollment of wetland and buffer acreage in conservation reserve" in section catchline.

Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 113–79, §2002(a), substituted "2018" for "2012" and "a farmable wetland program" for "a program".

Subsec. (b)(1)(B). Pub. L. 113–79, §2002(b), substituted "surface and subsurface flow from row crop agricultural production" for "flow from a row crop agriculture drainage system".

Subsec. (c)(1)(B). Pub. L. 113–79, §2002(c), substituted "750,000" for "1,000,000".

Subsec. (f)(2). Pub. L. 113–79, §2002(d)(2), substituted "section 3834(d)(2)(A)(ii)" for "section 3834(c)(2)(B)".

Effective Date

Enactment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as a note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

§3831c. Pilot programs

(a) CLEAR 30

(1) In general

(A) Enrollment

The Secretary shall establish a pilot program to enroll land in the conservation reserve program through a 30-year conservation reserve contract (referred to in this subsection as a "CLEAR 30 contract") in accordance with this subsection.

(B) Inclusion of acreage limitation

For purposes of applying the limitations in section 3831(d)(1) of this title, the Secretary shall include acres of land enrolled under this subsection.

(2) Expired conservation contract election

(A) Definition of covered contract

In this paragraph, the term "covered contract" means a contract entered into under this subpart that—

(i) expires on or after December 20, 2018; and

(ii) covers land enrolled in the conservation reserve program under the clean lakes, estuaries, and rivers priority described in section 3831(d)(3) of this title (or the predecessor practices that constitute the priority, as determined by the Secretary).

(B) Election

On the expiration of a covered contract, an owner or operator party to the covered contract shall elect—

(i) not to reenroll the land under the contract;

(ii) to offer to reenroll the land under the contract if the land remains eligible under the terms in effect as of the date of expiration; or

(iii) not to reenroll the land under the contract and to enroll that land through a CLEAR 30 contract under this subsection.

(3) Eligible land

Only land that is subject to an expired covered contract shall be eligible for enrollment through a CLEAR 30 contract under this subsection.

(4) Term

The term of a CLEAR 30 contract shall be 30 years.

(5) Agreements

To be eligible to enroll land in the conservation reserve program through a CLEAR 30 contract, the owner of the land shall enter into an agreement with the Secretary—

(A) to implement a conservation reserve plan developed for the land;

(B) to comply with the terms and conditions of the contract and any related agreements; and

(C) to temporarily suspend the base history for the land covered by the contract.

(6) Terms and conditions of CLEAR 30 contracts

(A) In general

A CLEAR 30 contract shall include terms and conditions that—

(i) permit—

(I) repairs, improvements, and inspections on the land that are necessary to maintain existing public drainage systems; and

(II) owners to control public access on the land while identifying access routes to be used for restoration activities and management and contract monitoring;


(ii) prohibit—

(I) the alteration of wildlife habitat and other natural features of the land, unless specifically authorized by the Secretary as part of the conservation reserve plan;

(II) the spraying of the land with chemicals or the mowing of the land, except where the spraying or mowing is authorized by the Secretary or is necessary—

(aa) to comply with Federal or State noxious weed control laws;

(bb) to comply with a Federal or State emergency pest treatment program; or

(cc) to meet habitat needs of specific wildlife species;


(III) any activity to be carried out on the land of the owner or successor that is immediately adjacent to, and functionally related to, the land that is subject to the contract if the activity will alter, degrade, or otherwise diminish the functional value of the land; and

(IV) the adoption of any other practice that would tend to defeat the purposes of the conservation reserve program, as determined by the Secretary; and


(iii) include any additional provision that the Secretary determines is appropriate to carry out this section or facilitate the practical administration of this section.

(B) Violation

On the violation of a term or condition of a CLEAR 30 contract, the Secretary may require the owner to refund all or part of any payments received by the owner under the conservation reserve program, with interest on the payments, as determined appropriate by the Secretary.

(C) Compatible uses

Land subject to a CLEAR 30 contract may be used for compatible economic uses, including hunting and fishing, managed timber harvest, or periodic haying or grazing, if the use—

(i) is specifically permitted by the conservation reserve plan developed for the land; and

(ii) is consistent with the long-term protection and enhancement of the conservation resources for which the contract was established.

(7) Compensation

(A) Amount of payments

The Secretary shall provide payment under this subsection to an owner of land enrolled through a CLEAR 30 contract using 30 annual payments in an amount equal to the amount that would be used if the land were to be enrolled in the conservation reserve program under section 3831(d)(3) of this title.

(B) Form of payment

Compensation for a CLEAR 30 contract shall be provided by the Secretary in the form of a cash payment in an amount determined under subparagraph (A).

(C) Timing

The Secretary shall provide any annual payment obligation under subparagraph (A) as early as practicable in each fiscal year.

(D) Payments to others

The Secretary shall make a payment, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary, in a manner as the Secretary determines is fair and reasonable under the circumstances, if an owner who is entitled to a payment under this section—

(i) dies;

(ii) becomes incompetent;

(iii) is succeeded by another person or entity who renders or completes the required performance; or

(iv) is otherwise unable to receive the payment.

(8) Technical assistance

(A) In general

The Secretary shall assist owners in complying with the terms and conditions of a CLEAR 30 contract.

(B) Contracts or agreements

The Secretary may enter into 1 or more contracts with private entities or agreements with a State, nongovernmental organization, or Indian Tribe to carry out necessary maintenance of a CLEAR 30 contract if the Secretary determines that the contract or agreement will advance the purposes of the conservation reserve program.

(9) Administration

(A) Conservation reserve plan

The Secretary shall develop a conservation reserve plan for any land subject to a CLEAR 30 contract, which shall include practices and activities necessary to maintain, protect, and enhance the conservation value of the enrolled land.

(B) Delegation of contract administration

(i) Federal, State, or local government agencies

The Secretary may delegate any of the management, monitoring, and enforcement responsibilities of the Secretary under this subsection to other Federal, State, or local government agencies that have the appropriate authority, expertise, and resources necessary to carry out those delegated responsibilities.

(ii) Conservation organizations

The Secretary may delegate any management responsibilities of the Secretary under this subsection to conservation organizations if the Secretary determines the conservation organization has similar expertise and resources.

(b) Soil health and income protection pilot program

(1) Definition of eligible land

In this subsection:

(A) In general

The term "eligible land" means cropland that—

(i) is selected by the owner or operator of the land for proposed enrollment in the pilot program under this subsection; and

(ii) as determined by the Secretary—

(I) is located within 1 or more States that are part of the prairie pothole region, as selected by the Secretary based on consultation with State Committees of the Farm Service Agency and State technical committees established under section 3861(a) of this title from that region;

(II) had a cropping history or was considered to be planted during each of the 3 crop years preceding enrollment; and

(III) is verified to be less-productive land, as compared to other land on the applicable farm.

(B) Exclusion

The term "eligible land" does not include any land that was enrolled in a conservation reserve program contract in any of the 3 crop years preceding enrollment in the pilot program under this subsection.

(2) Establishment

(A) In general

The Secretary shall establish a voluntary soil health and income protection pilot program under which eligible land is enrolled through the use of contracts to assist owners and operators of eligible land to conserve and improve the soil, water, and wildlife resources of the eligible land.

(B) Deadline for participation

Eligible land may be enrolled in the program under this section through December 31, 2020.

(3) Contracts

(A) Requirements

A contract described in paragraph (2) shall—

(i) be entered into by the Secretary, the owner of the eligible land, and (if applicable) the operator of the eligible land; and

(ii) provide that, during the term of the contract—

(I) the lowest practicable cost perennial conserving use cover crop for the eligible land, as determined by the applicable State conservationist after considering the advice of the applicable State technical committee, shall be planted on the eligible land;

(II) except as provided in subparagraph (E), the owner or operator of the eligible land shall pay the cost of planting the conserving use cover crop under subclause (I);

(III) subject to subparagraph (F), the eligible land may be harvested for seed, hayed, or grazed outside the primary nesting season established for the applicable county;

(IV) the eligible land may be eligible for a walk-in access program of the applicable State, if any; and

(V) a nonprofit wildlife organization may provide to the owner or operator of the eligible land a payment in exchange for an agreement by the owner or operator not to harvest the conserving use cover.

(B) Payments

Except as provided in subparagraphs (E) and (F)(ii)(II), the annual rental rate for a payment under a contract described in paragraph (2) shall be equal to 50 percent of the average rental rate for the applicable county under section 3834(d) of this title, as determined by the Secretary.

(C) Limitation on enrolled land

Not more than 15 percent of the eligible land on a farm may be enrolled in the pilot program under this subsection.

(D) Term

(i) In general

Except as provided in clause (ii), each contract described in paragraph (2) shall be for a term of 3, 4, or 5 years, as determined by the parties to the contract.

(ii) Early termination

(I) Secretary

The Secretary may terminate a contract described in paragraph (2) before the end of the term described in clause (i) if the Secretary determines that the early termination of the contract is necessary.

(II) Owners and operators

An owner and (if applicable) an operator of eligible land enrolled in the pilot program under this subsection may terminate a contract described in paragraph (2) before the end of the term described in clause (i) if the owner and (if applicable) the operator pay to the Secretary an amount equal to the amount of rental payments received under the contract.

(E) Beginning, limited resource, socially disadvantaged, or veteran farmers and ranchers

With respect to a beginning, limited resource, socially disadvantaged, or veteran farmer or rancher, as determined by the Secretary—

(i) a contract described in paragraph (2) shall provide that, during the term of the contract, of the actual cost of establishment of the conserving use cover crop under subparagraph (A)(ii)(I)—

(I) using the funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Secretary shall pay 50 percent; and

(II) the beginning, limited resource, socially disadvantaged, or veteran farmer or rancher shall pay 50 percent; and


(ii) the annual rental rate for a payment under a contract described in paragraph (2) shall be equal to 75 percent of the average rental rate for the applicable county under section 3834(d) of this title, as determined by the Secretary.

(F) Harvesting, haying, and grazing outside applicable period

The harvesting for seed, haying, or grazing of eligible land under subparagraph (A)(ii)(III) outside of the primary nesting season established for the applicable county shall be subject to the conditions that—

(i) with respect to eligible land that is so hayed or grazed, adequate stubble height shall be maintained to protect the soil on the eligible land, as determined by the applicable State conservationist after considering the advice of the applicable State technical committee; and

(ii) with respect to eligible land that is so harvested for seed—

(I) the eligible land shall not be eligible to be insured or reinsured under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.); and

(II) the rental payment otherwise applicable to the eligible land under this subsection shall be reduced by 25 percent.

(4) Acreage limitation

Of the number of acres available for enrollment in the conservation reserve under section 3831(d)(1) of this title, not more than 50,000 total acres of eligible land may be enrolled under the pilot program under this subsection.

(5) Report

The Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate an annual report describing the eligible land enrolled in the pilot program under this subsection, including—

(A) the estimated conservation value of the land; and

(B) estimated savings from reduced commodity payments, crop insurance indemnities, and crop insurance premium subsidies.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1231C, as added Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2204, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4538.)

References in Text

The Federal Crop Insurance Act, referred to in subsec. (b)(3)(F)(ii)(I), is subtitle A of title V of act Feb. 16, 1938, ch. 30, 52 Stat. 72, which is classified generally to subchapter I (§1501 et seq.) of chapter 36 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 1501 of this title and Tables.

§3832. Duties of owners and operators

(a) In general

Under the terms of a contract entered into under this subpart, during the term of the contract, an owner or operator of a farm or ranch shall agree—

(1) to implement a plan approved by the local conservation district (or in an area not located within a conservation district, a plan approved by the Secretary) for converting eligible land normally devoted to the production of an agricultural commodity on the farm or ranch to a less intensive use (as defined by the Secretary), such as pasture, permanent grass, legumes, forbs, shrubs, or trees, substantially in accordance with a schedule outlined in the plan;

(2) to place highly erodible cropland subject to the contract in the conservation reserve established under this subpart;

(3) not to use the land for agricultural purposes, except as permitted by the Secretary;

(4) to establish approved vegetative cover (which may include emerging vegetation in water), water cover for the enhancement of wildlife, or, where practicable, maintain existing cover on the land, except that—

(A) the water cover shall not include ponds for the purpose of watering livestock, irrigating crops, or raising fish for commercial purposes; and

(B) the Secretary shall not terminate the contract for failure to establish approved vegetative or water cover on the land if—

(i) the failure to plant the cover was due to excessive rainfall or flooding;

(ii) the land subject to the contract that could practicably be planted to the cover is planted to the cover; and

(iii) the land on which the owner or operator was unable to plant the cover is planted to the cover after the wet conditions that prevented the planting subsides;


(5) to undertake management on the land as needed throughout the term of the contract to implement the conservation plan;

(6) on a violation of a term or condition of the contract at any time the owner or operator has control of the land—

(A) to forfeit all rights to receive rental payments and cost sharing payments under the contract and to refund to the Secretary any rental payments and cost sharing payments received by the owner or operator under the contract, together with interest on the payments as determined by the Secretary, if the Secretary, after considering the recommendations of the soil conservation district and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, determines that the violation is of such nature as to warrant termination of the contract; or

(B) to refund to the Secretary, or accept adjustments to, the rental payments and cost sharing payments provided to the owner or operator, as the Secretary considers appropriate, if the Secretary determines that the violation does not warrant termination of the contract;


(7) on the transfer of the right and interest of the owner or operator in land subject to the contract—

(A) to forfeit all rights to rental payments and cost sharing payments under the contract; and

(B) to refund to the United States all rental payments and cost sharing payments received by the owner or operator, or accept such payment adjustments or make such refunds as the Secretary considers appropriate and consistent with the objectives of this subpart;


unless the transferee of the land agrees with the Secretary to assume all obligations of the contract, except that no refund of rental payments and cost sharing payments shall be required if the land is purchased by or for the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, or the transferee and the Secretary agree to modifications to the contract, in a case in which the modifications are consistent with the objectives of the program, as determined by the Secretary;

(8) not to conduct any harvesting or grazing, nor otherwise make commercial use of the forage, on land that is subject to the contract, nor adopt any similar practice specified in the contract by the Secretary as a practice that would tend to defeat the purposes of the contract, except as provided in subsection (b) or (c) of section 3833 of this title;


(9) not to conduct any planting of trees on land that is subject to the contract unless the contract specifies that the harvesting and commercial sale of trees such as Christmas trees are prohibited, nor otherwise make commercial use of trees on land that is subject to the contract unless it is expressly permitted in the contract, nor adopt any similar practice specified in the contract by the Secretary as a practice that would tend to defeat the purposes of the contract, except that no contract shall prohibit activities consistent with customary forestry practice, such as pruning, thinning, or stand improvement of trees, on land converted to forestry use;

(10) on land devoted to hardwood or other trees, excluding windbreaks and shelterbelts, to carry out proper thinning and other practices—

(A) to enhance the conservation benefits and wildlife habitat resources addressed by the conservation practice under which the land is enrolled; and

(B) to promote forest management;


(11) not to adopt any practice specified by the Secretary in the contract as a practice that would tend to defeat the purposes of this subpart; and

(12) to comply with such additional provisions as the Secretary determines are desirable and are included in the contract to carry out this subpart or to facilitate the practical administration of this subpart.

(b) Conservation plans

The plan referred to in subsection (a)(1) shall set forth—

(1) the conservation measures and practices to be carried out by the owner or operator during the term of the contract; and

(2) the commercial use, if any, to be permitted on the land during the term.

(c) Foreclosure

(1) In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an owner or operator who is a party to a contract entered into under this subpart may not be required to make repayments to the Secretary of amounts received under the contract if the land that is subject to the contract has been foreclosed on and the Secretary determines that forgiving the repayments is appropriate in order to provide fair and equitable treatment.

(2) Resumption of control

(A) In general

This subsection shall not void the responsibilities of an owner or operator under the contract if the owner or operator resumes control over the land that is subject to the contract within the period specified in the contract.

(B) Contract

On the resumption of the control over the land by the owner or operator, the provisions of the contract in effect on the date of the foreclosure shall apply.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1232, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2101(a), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 242; amended Pub. L. 108–7, div. N, title II, §212, Feb. 20, 2003, 117 Stat. 545; Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §§2107, 2108, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1032, 1033; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §§2107, 2108, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1760, 1761; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2003, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 715; Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2205, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4543.)

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 3832, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1232, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1509; Pub. L. 101–512, title I, Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1919; Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §§1433, 1447(a), Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3579, 3605; Pub. L. 102–237, title II, §204(5), Dec. 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 1855; Pub. L. 102–552, title V, §516(a), Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 4136; Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §332(a)(2), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 994; Pub. L. 106–78, title VII, §§763, 769, Oct. 22, 1999, 113 Stat. 1173, 1174; Pub. L. 106–387, §1(a) [title VIII, §817, title XI, §1103], Oct. 28, 2000, 114 Stat. 1549, 1549A-58, 1549A-77; Pub. L. 107–76, title VII, §§758(b), 759(b)(2), Nov. 28, 2001, 115 Stat. 741, related to duties of owners and operators, prior to the general amendment of this subpart by Pub. L. 107–171.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (a)(10) to (12). Pub. L. 115–334 added par. (10) and redesignated former pars. (10) and (11) as (11) and (12), respectively.

2014—Subsec. (a)(8). Pub. L. 113–79, §2003(a), substituted "except as provided in subsection (b) or (c) of section 3833 of this title;" for "except that the Secretary may permit, consistent with the conservation of soil, water quality, and wildlife habitat (including habitat during nesting seasons for birds in the area)—" and struck out subpars. (A) to (D), which related to managed harvesting, commercial use in response to an emergency, grazing for the control of invasive species, and the installation of wind turbines, respectively.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 113–79, §2003(b), amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The plan referred to in subsection (a)(1) of this section—

"(1) shall set forth—

"(A) the conservation measures and practices to be carried out by the owner or operator during the term of the contract; and

"(B) the commercial use, if any, to be permitted on the land during the term; and

"(2) may provide for the permanent retirement of any existing cropland base and allotment history for the land."

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 113–79, §2003(c), struck out subsec. (d). Text read as follows: "In the case of an authorized activity under subsection (a)(8) on land that is subject to a contract under this subpart, the Secretary shall reduce the rental payment otherwise payable under the contract by an amount commensurate with the economic value of the authorized activity."

2008—Subsec. (a)(5) to (7). Pub. L. 110–246, §2107, added par. (5) and redesignated former pars. (5) and (6) as (6) and (7), respectively. Former par. (7) redesignated (8).

Subsec. (a)(8). Pub. L. 110–246, §2108(a), added par. (8) and struck out former par. (8) which related to prohibition against harvesting, grazing, or other commercial use of the forage, with exception authorizing Secretary to permit managed harvesting and grazing if appropriate requirements were developed and timeframes identified or in a drought or other emergency, and exception for the installation of wind turbines.

Pub. L. 110–246, §2107(1), redesignated par. (7) as (8). Former par. (8) redesignated (9).

Subsec. (a)(9) to (11). Pub. L. 110–246, §2107(1), redesignated pars. (8) to (10) as (9) to (11), respectively.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 110–246, §2108(b), added subsec. (d).

2003—Subsec. (a)(7)(A)(iii). Pub. L. 108–7 inserted before semicolon ", except that this clause shall not apply to the 2002 calendar year, and the Secretary shall repay the owner or operator (in a manner determined by the Secretary) for any reduction in rental payments made to the owner or operator as the result of the application of this clause to the 2002 calendar year".

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

§3833. Duties of the Secretary

(a) Cost-share and rental payments

In return for a contract entered into by an owner or operator under the conservation reserve program, the Secretary shall—

(1) share the cost of carrying out the conservation measures and practices set forth in the contract for which the Secretary determines that cost sharing is appropriate and in the public interest, including the cost of fencing and other water distribution practices, if applicable; and

(2) for a period of years not in excess of the term of the contract, pay an annual rental payment, in accordance with section 3834(d) of this title, for—

(A) the conversion of highly erodible cropland, marginal pastureland, or other eligible lands normally devoted to the production of an agricultural commodity on a farm or ranch to a less intensive use; or

(B) the development and management of grasslands for multiple natural resource conservation benefits, including to soil, water, air, and wildlife.

(b) Specified activities permitted

(1) In general

The Secretary, in coordination with the applicable State technical committee established under section 3861(a) of this title, shall permit certain activities or commercial uses of established cover on land that is subject to a contract under the conservation reserve program if—

(A) those activities or uses—

(i) are consistent with the conservation of soil, water quality, and wildlife habitat;

(ii) are subject to appropriate restrictions during the primary nesting season for birds in the local area that are economically significant, in significant decline, or conserved in accordance with Federal or State law;

(iii) contribute to the health and vigor of the established cover; and

(iv) are consistent with a site-specific plan, including vegetative management requirements, stocking rates, and frequency and duration of activity, taking into consideration regional differences, such as climate, soil type, and natural resources; and


(B) the Secretary, in coordination with the State technical committee, includes contract modifications—

(i) without any reduction in the rental rate for—

(I) emergency haying, emergency grazing, or other emergency use of the forage in response to a localized or regional drought, flooding, wildfire, or other emergency, on all practices, outside the primary nesting season, when—

(aa) the county is designated as D2 (severe drought) or greater according to the United States Drought Monitor;

(bb) there is at least a 40 percent loss in forage production in the county; or

(cc) the Secretary, in coordination with the State technical committee, determines that the program can assist in the response to a natural disaster event without permanent damage to the established cover;


(II) emergency grazing on all practices during the primary nesting season if payments are authorized for a county under the livestock forage disaster program under clause (ii) of section 9081(c)(3)(D) of title 7, at 50 percent of the normal carrying capacity determined under clause (i) of that section, adjusted to the site-specific plan;

(III) emergency haying on certain practices, outside the primary nesting season, if payments are authorized for a county under the livestock forage disaster program under clause (ii) of section 9081(c)(3)(D) of title 7, on not more than 50 percent of contract acres, as identified in the site-specific plan;

(IV) grazing of all practices, outside the primary nesting season, if included as a mid-contract management practice under section 3832(a)(5) of this title;

(V) the intermittent and seasonal use of vegetative buffer established under paragraphs (4) and (5) of section 3831(b) of this title that are incidental to agricultural production on land adjacent to the buffer such that the permitted use—

(aa) does not destroy the permanent vegetative cover; and

(bb) retains suitable vegetative structure for wildlife cover and shelter outside the primary nesting season; or


(VI) grazing on all practices, outside the primary nesting season, if conducted by a beginning farmer or rancher; or


(ii) with a 25 percent reduction in the annual rental rate for the acres covered by the authorized activity, including—

(I) grazing not more frequently than every other year on the same land, except that during the primary nesting season, grazing shall be subject to a 50 percent reduction in the stocking rate specified in the site-specific plan;

(II) grazing of all practices during the primary nesting season, with a 50 percent reduction in the stocking rate specified in the site-specific plan;

(III) haying and other commercial use (including the managed harvesting of biomass and excluding the harvesting of vegetative cover), on the condition that the activity—

(aa) is completed outside the primary nesting season;

(bb) occurs not more than once every 3 years; and

(cc) maintains 25 percent of the total contract acres unharvested, in accordance with a site-specific plan that provides for wildlife cover and shelter;


(IV) annual grazing outside the primary nesting season if consistent with a site-specific plan that is authorized for the control of invasive species; and

(V) the installation of wind turbines and associated access, except that in permitting the installation of wind turbines, the Secretary shall determine the number and location of wind turbines that may be installed, taking into account—

(aa) the location, size, and other physical characteristics of the land;

(bb) the extent to which the land contains threatened or endangered wildlife and wildlife habitat; and

(cc) the purposes of the conservation reserve program under this subpart.

(2) Conditions on haying and grazing

(A) In general

The Secretary may permit haying or grazing in accordance with paragraph (1) on any land or practice subject to a contract under the conservation reserve program.

(B) Exceptions

(i) Damage to vegetative cover

Haying or grazing described in paragraph (1) shall not be permitted on land subject to a contract under the conservation reserve program, or under a particular practice, if haying or grazing for that year under that practice, as applicable, would cause long-term damage to vegetative cover on that land.

(ii) Special agreements

(I) In general

Except as provided in subclause (II), haying or grazing described in paragraph (1) shall not be permitted on—

(aa) land covered by a contract enrolled under the State acres for wildlife enhancement program established by the Secretary; or

(bb) land covered by a contract enrolled under a conservation reserve enhancement program established under section 3831a of this title or the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program established by the Secretary under this subpart.

(II) Exception

Subclause (I) shall not apply to land on which haying or grazing is specifically permitted under the applicable conservation reserve enhancement program agreement or other partnership agreement entered into under this subpart.

(c) Authorized activities on grasslands

For eligible land described in section 3831(b)(3) of this title, the Secretary shall permit the following activities:

(1) Common grazing practices, including maintenance and necessary cultural practices, on the land in a manner that is consistent with maintaining the viability of grassland, forb, and shrub species appropriate to that locality.

(2) Haying, mowing, or harvesting for seed production, subject to appropriate restrictions during the nesting season for birds in the local area that are economically significant, in significant decline, or conserved in accordance with Federal or State law, as determined by the Secretary in consultation with the State technical committee.

(3) Fire presuppression, fire-related rehabilitation, and construction of fire breaks.

(4) Grazing-related activities, such as fencing and livestock watering.

(d) Resource conserving use

(1) In general

Beginning on the date that is 1 year before the date of termination of a contract under the program, the Secretary shall allow an owner or operator to make conservation and land improvements for economic use that facilitate maintaining protection of enrolled land after expiration of the contract.

(2) Conservation plan

The Secretary shall require an owner or operator carrying out the activities described in paragraph (1) to develop and implement a conservation plan.

(3) Re-enrollment prohibited

Land improved under paragraph (1) may not be re-enrolled in the conservation reserve program for 5 years after the date of termination of the contract.

(4) Payment reduction

In the case of an activity carried out under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall reduce the payment otherwise payable under the contract by an amount commensurate with the economic value of the activity.

(e) Natural disaster or adverse weather as mid-contract management

In the case of a natural disaster or adverse weather event that has the effect of a management practice consistent with the conservation plan, the Secretary shall not require further management practices pursuant to section 3832(a)(5) of this title that are intended to achieve the same effect.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1233, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2101(a), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 245; amended Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2004, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 715; Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2206, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4543.)

Prior Provisions

A prior section 3833, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1233, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1511, related to duties of Secretary, prior to the general amendment of this subpart by Pub. L. 107–171.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 115–334, §2206(a)(1), inserted ", including the cost of fencing and other water distribution practices, if applicable" after "in the public interest".

Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 115–334, §2206(a)(2)(A), substituted ", in accordance with section 3834(d) of this title," for "in an amount necessary to compensate" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (a)(2)(A). Pub. L. 115–334, §2206(a)(2)(B) inserted ", marginal pastureland," after "cropland" and "or" at end.

Subsec. (a)(2)(B), (C). Pub. L. 115–334, §2206(a)(2)(C), (D), redesignated subpar. (C) as (B) and struck out former subpar. (B) which read as follows: "the retirement of any base history that the owner or operator agrees to retire permanently; and".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 115–334, §2206(b), added subsec. (b) and struck out former subsec. (b) which described certain activities or commercial uses that would be permitted on land subject to a contract under the conservation reserve program.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 115–334, §2206(c), added subsec. (e).

2014Pub. L. 113–79 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section also related to duties of the Secretary.

§3834. Payments

(a) Timing

The Secretary shall provide payment for obligations incurred by the Secretary under a contract entered into under this subpart—

(1) with respect to any cost-sharing payment obligation incurred by the Secretary, as soon as practicable after the obligation is incurred; and

(2) with respect to any annual rental payment obligation incurred by the Secretary—

(A) as soon as practicable after October 1 of each calendar year; or

(B) at the option of the Secretary, at any time prior to such date during the year that the obligation is incurred.

(b) Cost sharing payments

(1) In general

In making cost sharing payments to an owner or operator under a contract entered into under this subpart, the Secretary shall pay 50 percent of the cost of establishing water quality and conservation measures and practices required under each contract for which the Secretary determines that cost sharing is appropriate and in the public interest.

(2) Limitations

(A) In general

The Secretary shall ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that cost sharing payments to an owner or operator under this subpart, when combined with the sum of payments from all other funding sources for measures and practices described in paragraph (1), do not exceed 100 percent of the total actual cost of establishing those measures and practices, as determined by the Secretary.

(B) Mid-contract management grazing

The Secretary may not make any cost sharing payment to an owner or operator under this subpart pursuant to section 3832(a)(5) of this title.

(C) Seed cost

In the case of seed costs related to the establishment of cover, cost sharing payments under this subpart shall not exceed 50 percent of the actual cost of the seed mixture, as determined by the Secretary.

(3) Other Federal cost share assistance

Except in the case of incentive payments that are related to the cost of the establishment of a practice and received from eligible partners under the conservation reserve enhancement program under section 3831a of this title, an owner or operator shall not be eligible to receive or retain cost share assistance under this subsection if the owner or operator receives any other Federal cost share assistance with respect to the land under any other provision of law.

(4) Practice incentives for continuous practices

In addition to the cost sharing payment described in this subsection, the Secretary shall make an incentive payment to an owner or operator of land enrolled under section 3831(d)(6) of this title in an amount not to exceed 50 percent of the actual cost of establishing all measures and practices described in paragraph (1), including seed costs related to the establishment of cover, as determined by the Secretary.

(c) Forest management incentive payments

(1) In general

Using funds made available under section 3841(a)(1)(A) of this title, the Secretary may make incentive payments to an owner or operator of eligible land in an amount sufficient to encourage proper thinning and other practices to improve the condition of resources, promote forest management, or enhance wildlife habitat on the land.

(2) Limitation

A payment described in paragraph (1) may not exceed 100 percent of the total cost of thinning and other practices conducted by the owner or operator.

(d) Annual rental payments

(1) In general

In determining the amount of annual rental payments to be paid to owners and operators for converting highly erodible cropland or other eligible lands normally devoted to the production of an agricultural commodity to less intensive use, the Secretary shall consider—

(A) the amount necessary to encourage owners or operators of highly erodible cropland or other eligible lands to participate in the program established by this subpart;

(B) the impact on the local farmland rental market; and

(C) such other factors as the Secretary determines to be appropriate.

(2) Methods of determination

(A) In general

The amounts payable to owners or operators in the form of rental payments under contracts entered into under this subpart may be determined through the submission of applications for such contracts by owners and operators in such manner as the Secretary may prescribe.

(B) Multiple enrollments

(i) In general

Subject to clause (ii), if land subject to a contract entered into under this subpart is reenrolled under section 3831(h)(1) of this title or has been previously enrolled in the conservation reserve, the annual rental payment shall be in an amount that is not more than 85 percent in the case of general enrollment contacts, or 90 percent in the case of continuous enrollment contracts, of the applicable estimated average county rental rate published pursuant to paragraph (4) for the year in which the reenrollment occurs.

(ii) Conservation reserve enhancement program

The reduction in annual rental payments under clause (i) may be waived as part of the negotiation between the Secretary and an eligible partner to enter into a conservation reserve enhancement program agreement under section 3831a of this title.

(C) Grasslands

Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), in the case of eligible land described in section 3831(b)(3) of this title, the Secretary shall make annual payments in an amount that is not more than 75 percent of the grazing value of the land covered by the contract.

(D) Continuous sign-up incentives

The Secretary shall make an incentive payment to the owner or operator of land enrolled under section 3831(d)(6) of this title at the time of initial enrollment in an amount equal to 32.5 percent of the amount of the first annual rental payment under subparagraph (A).

(3) Acceptance of contract offers

(A) Evaluation of offers

In determining the acceptability of contract offers, the Secretary may take into consideration the extent to which enrollment of the land that is the subject of the contract offer would improve soil resources, water quality, or wildlife habitat or provide other environmental benefits.

(B) Establishment of different criteria in various States and regions

The Secretary may establish different criteria for determining the acceptability of contract offers in various States and regions of the United States based on the extent to which water quality or wildlife habitat may be improved or erosion may be abated.

(C) Local preference

In determining the acceptability of contract offers for new enrollments, the Secretary shall accept, to the maximum extent practicable, an offer from an owner or operator that is a resident of the county in which the land is located or of a contiguous county if, as determined by the Secretary, the land would provide at least equivalent conservation benefits to land under competing offers.

(4) Rental rates

(A) Annual estimates

The Secretary (acting through the National Agricultural Statistics Service) shall annually conduct a survey of per acre estimates of county average market dryland and irrigated cash rental rates for cropland and pastureland in all counties or equivalent subdivisions within each State that have 20,000 acres or more of cropland and pastureland, and shall publish the estimates derived from the survey not later than September 15 of each year.

(B) Public availability of estimates

The estimates derived from the survey conducted under subparagraph (A) and the average current and previous soil rental rates for each county shall be maintained on a website of the Department of Agriculture for use by the general public.

(C) Use

The Secretary shall consider the estimates derived from the survey conducted under subparagraph (A) relating to dryland cash rental rates as a factor in determining rental rates under this section in a manner determined appropriate by the Secretary.

(D) Submission of additional information by State FSA offices and CREP partners

(i) In general

The Secretary shall provide an opportunity for State Committees of the Farm Service Agency or eligible partners (as defined in section 3831a(a) of this title) in conservation reserve enhancement programs under section 3831a of this title to propose an alternative soil rental rate prior to finalizing new rates, on the condition that documentation described in clause (ii) is provided to support the proposed alternative.

(ii) Acceptable documentation

Documentation referred to in clause (i) includes—

(I) an average of cash rents from a random sample of lease agreements;

(II) cash rent estimates from a published survey;

(III) neighboring county estimate comparisons from the National Agricultural Statistics Service;

(IV) an average of cash rents from Farm Service Agency farm business plans;

(V) models that estimate cash rents, such as models that use returns to estimate crop production or land value data; or

(VI) other documentation, as determined by the Secretary.

(iii) Notification

Not less than 14 days prior to the announcement of new or revised soil rental rates, the Secretary shall offer a briefing to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate, including information on and the rationale for the alternative rates proposed under clause (i) that were accepted or rejected.

(E) Rental rate limitation

Notwithstanding forest management incentive payments described in subsection (c), the county average soil rental rate (before any adjustments relating to specific practices, wellhead protection, or soil productivity) shall not exceed—

(i) 85 percent of the estimated rental rate determined under this paragraph for general enrollment; or

(ii) 90 percent of the estimated rental rate determined under this paragraph for continuous enrollment.

(e) Payment schedule

(1) In general

Except as otherwise provided in this section, payments under this subpart shall be made in cash in such amount and on such time schedule as is agreed on and specified in the contract.

(2) Advance payment

Payments under this subpart may be made in advance of determination of performance.

(f) Payments on death, disability, or succession

If an owner or operator that is entitled to a payment under a contract entered into under this subpart dies, becomes incompetent, is otherwise unable to receive the payment, or is succeeded by another person that renders or completes the required performance, the Secretary shall make the payment, in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Secretary and without regard to any other provision of law, in such manner as the Secretary determines is fair and reasonable in light of all of the circumstances.

(g) Payment limitation for rental payments

(1) In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), the total amount of rental payments received by a person or legal entity, directly or indirectly, under this subpart for any fiscal year may not exceed $50,000.

(2) Wellhead protection

Paragraph (1) and section 1308–3a(b) of title 7 shall not apply to rental payments received by a rural water district or association for land that is enrolled under this subpart for the purpose of protecting a wellhead.

(h) Other State or local assistance

In addition to any payment under this subpart, an owner or operator may receive cost share assistance, rental payments, or tax benefits from a State or subdivision thereof for enrolling land in the conservation reserve program.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1234, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2101(a), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 245; amended Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §§2109, 2110(a), (b)(1), (c), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1034, 1035; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §§2109, 2110(a), (b)(1), (c), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1762, 1763; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2005, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 718; Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2207, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4546.)

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 3834, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1234, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1511; Pub. L. 100–387, title III, §322, Aug. 11, 1988, 102 Stat. 950; Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §§1434, 1447(a), Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3581, 3605, related to payments for obligations, prior to the general amendment of this subpart by Pub. L. 107–171.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (b)(2) to (5). Pub. L. 115–334, §2207(a), added par. (2), redesignated par. (5) as (3) and substituted "Except in the case of incentive payments that are related to the cost of the establishment of a practice and received from eligible partners under the conservation reserve enhancement program under section 3831a of this title, an owner" for "An owner", added par. (4), and struck out former pars. (2) to (4) which related to limitation on payments, payments for land devoted to the production of hardwood trees, windbreaks, shelterbelts, or wildlife corridors, and extension of planting of hardwood trees over a 3-year period, respectively.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 115–334, §2207(b)(1), substituted "Forest management incentive payments" for "Incentive payments" in heading.

Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 115–334, §2207(b)(2), substituted "Using funds made available under section 3841(a)(1)(A) of this title, the Secretary" for "The Secretary".

Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 115–334, §2207(b)(3), substituted "100 percent" for "150 percent".

Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 115–334, §2207(c)(1), substituted "the Secretary shall consider—" for "the Secretary may consider, among other things,", inserted subpar. (A) designation before "the amount" and substituted semicolon for period at end, and added subpars. (B) and (C).

Subsec. (d)(2)(A). Pub. L. 115–334, §2207(c)(2)(A), substituted "determined through the submission of applications for such contracts by owners and operators in such manner as the Secretary may prescribe." for "determined through—

"(i) the submission of bids for such contracts by owners and operators in such manner as the Secretary may prescribe; or

"(ii) such other means as the Secretary determines are appropriate."

Subsec. (d)(2)(B). Pub. L. 115–334, §2207(c)(2)(C), added subpar. (B). Former subpar. (B) redesignated (C).

Subsec. (d)(2)(C). Pub. L. 115–334, §2207(c)(2)(B), (D), redesignated subpar. (B) as (C) and substituted "Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), in the case" for "In the case".

Subsec. (d)(2)(D). Pub. L. 115–334, §2207(c)(2)(E), added subpar. (D).

Subsec. (d)(4). Pub. L. 115–334, §2207(c)(3), (4), redesignated par. (5) as (4) and struck out former par. (4). Prior to amendment, text of par. (4) read as follows: "In the case of acreage enrolled in the conservation reserve established under this subpart that is to be devoted to hardwood trees, the Secretary may consider bids for contracts under this subsection on a continuous basis."

Subsec. (d)(4)(A). Pub. L. 115–334, §2207(c)(5)(A), substituted "annually" for ", not less frequently than once every other year," and inserted ", and shall publish the estimates derived from the survey not later than September 15 of each year" before period at end.

Subsec. (d)(4)(B). Pub. L. 115–334, §2207(c)(5)(B), inserted "and the average current and previous soil rental rates for each county" before "shall be maintained".

Subsec. (d)(4)(C). Pub. L. 115–334, §2207(c)(5)(C), substituted "shall consider" for "may use".

Subsec. (d)(4)(D), (E). Pub. L. 115–334, §2207(c)(5)(D), added subpars. (D) and (E).

Subsec. (d)(5). Pub. L. 115–334, §2207(c)(4), redesignated par. (5) as (4).

Subsec. (g)(1). Pub. L. 115–334, §2207(d)(1), substituted "Except as provided in paragraph (2), the total" for "The total".

Subsec. (g)(2). Pub. L. 115–334, §2207(d)(2), added par. (2) and struck out former par. (2) which related to applicability of payment limitations relative to agreements entered into under a special conservation reserve enhancement program.

2014—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 113–79, §2005(b)(1)(A), struck out "Federal percentage of" before "cost sharing payments" in heading.

Subsec. (b)(3)(A). Pub. L. 113–79, §2005(a), amended subpar. (A) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "This paragraph applies to—

"(i) land devoted to the production of hardwood trees, windbreaks, shelterbelts, or wildlife corridors under a contract entered into under this subpart after November 28, 1990;

"(ii) land converted to such production under section 3835a of this title; and

"(iii) land on which an owner or operator agrees to conduct thinning authorized by section 3832(a)(9) of this title, if the thinning is necessary to improve the condition of resources on the land."

Subsec. (b)(3)(B)(i). Pub. L. 113–79, §2005(b)(1)(B)(i), struck out "or thinning" before period at end.

Subsec. (b)(3)(B)(ii). Pub. L. 113–79, §2005(b)(1)(B)(ii), amended cl. (ii) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The Secretary shall make payments as described in clause (i) for a period of not less than 2 years, but not more than 4 years, beginning on the date of—

"(I) the planting of the trees or shrubs; or

"(II) the thinning of existing stands to improve the condition of resources on the land."

Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 113–79, §2005(b)(2), (3), added subsec. (c) and redesignated former subsec. (c) as (d). Former subsec. (d) redesignated (e).

Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 113–79, §2005(c)(1), inserted "or other eligible lands" after "highly erodible cropland" in two places.

Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 113–79, §2005(c)(2), added par. (2) and struck out former par. (2). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The amounts payable to owners or operators in the form of rental payments under contracts entered into under this subpart may be determined through—

"(A) the submission of bids for such contracts by owners and operators in such manner as the Secretary may prescribe; or

"(B) such other means as the Secretary determines are appropriate."

Subsec. (d)(5)(A). Pub. L. 113–79, §2005(c)(3)(A), substituted ", not less frequently than once every other year, conduct a survey" for "conduct an annual survey".

Subsec. (d)(5)(B). Pub. L. 113–79, §2005(c)(3)(B), struck out "annual" before "survey".

Subsec. (d)(5)(C). Pub. L. 113–79, §2005(c)(3)(C), added subpar. (C).

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 113–79, §2005(d), amended subsec. (e) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (e) related to cash or in-kind payments.

Pub. L. 113–79, §2005(b)(2), redesignated subsec. (d) as (e). Former subsec. (e) redesignated (f).

Subsecs. (f), (g). Pub. L. 113–79, §2005(b)(2), redesignated subsecs. (e) and (f) as (f) and (g), respectively. Former subsec. (g) redesignated (h).

Subsec. (g)(1). Pub. L. 113–79, §2005(e)(1), struck out ", including rental payments made in the form of in-kind commodities," after "total amount of rental payments".

Subsec. (g)(2) to (4). Pub. L. 113–79, §2005(e)(2), (3), redesignated par. (4) as (2) and struck out par. (3). Prior to amendment, text of par. (3) read as follows: "Rental payments received by an owner or operator shall be in addition to, and not affect, the total amount of payments that the owner or operator is otherwise eligible to receive under the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002."

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 113–79, §2005(b)(2), redesignated subsec. (g) as (h).

2008—Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 110–246, §2109, added par. (3) and struck out former par. (3) which related to the making of payments to an owner or operator of land devoted to the production of hardwood trees, windbreaks, shelterbelts, or wildlife corridors.

Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 110–246, §2110(a), added par. (3) and struck out former par. (3). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "In determining the acceptability of contract offers, the Secretary may—

"(A) take into consideration the extent to which enrollment of the land that is the subject of the contract offer would improve soil resources, water quality, wildlife habitat, or provide other environmental benefits; and

"(B) establish different criteria in various States and regions of the United States based on the extent to which water quality or wildlife habitat may be improved or erosion may be abated."

Subsec. (c)(5). Pub. L. 110–246, §2110(b)(1), added par. (5).

Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 110–246, §2110(c)(1), substituted "received by a person or legal entity, directly or indirectly," for "made to a person".

Subsec. (f)(2). Pub. L. 110–246, §2110(c)(2), struck out par. (2) which related to promulgation of regulations defining the term "person" as used in subsec. (f) and providing terms and conditions determined necessary to ensure a fair and reasonable application of the subsec. (f) limitation.

Subsec. (f)(4)(A). Pub. L. 110–246, §2110(c)(3), substituted "any person or legal entity" for "any person".

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

First Survey Pursuant to Subsection (c)(5)

Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2110(b)(2), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1035, and Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2110(b)(2), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1763, provided that: "The first survey required by paragraph (5) of section 1234(c) [now 1234(d)] of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3834(c) [now 16 U.S.C. 3834(d)]), as added by subsection (a), shall be conducted not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act [June 18, 2008]."

[Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 enacted identical provisions. Pub. L. 110–234 was repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as a note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.]

Conservation Research Application

For provisions directing that enumerated provisions of the Food Security Act of 1985 shall apply to the conservation reserve program under this subchapter with respect to rental payments to persons under contracts entered into after Dec. 22, 1987, with certain exceptions, see section 1305(d) of Pub. L. 100–203, set out as a note under section 1308 of Title 7, Agriculture.

§3835. Contracts

(a) Ownership or operation requirements

(1) In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), no contract shall be entered into under this subpart concerning land with respect to which the ownership has changed in the 1-year period preceding the first year of the contract period unless—

(A) the new ownership was acquired by will or succession as a result of the death of the previous owner;

(B) the new ownership was acquired before January 1, 1985;

(C) the Secretary determines that the land was acquired under circumstances that give adequate assurance that the land was not acquired for the purpose of placing the land in the program established by this subpart; or

(D) the ownership change occurred due to foreclosure on the land and the owner of the land immediately before the foreclosure exercises a right of redemption from the mortgage holder in accordance with State law.

(2) Exceptions

Paragraph (1) shall not—

(A) prohibit the continuation of an agreement by a new owner after an agreement has been entered into under this subpart; or

(B) require a person to own the land as a condition of eligibility for entering into the contract if the person—

(i) has operated the land to be covered by a contract under this section for at least 1 year preceding the date of the contract or since January 1, 1985, whichever is later; and

(ii) controls the land for the contract period.

(b) Sales or transfers

If, during the term of a contract entered into under this subpart, an owner or operator of land subject to the contract sells or otherwise transfers the ownership or right of occupancy of the land, the new owner or operator of the land may—

(1) continue the contract under the same terms or conditions;

(2) enter into a new contract in accordance with this subpart; or

(3) elect not to participate in the program established by this subpart.

(c) Modifications

(1) In general

The Secretary may modify a contract entered into with an owner or operator under this subpart if—

(A) the owner or operator agrees to the modification; and

(B) the Secretary determines that the modification is desirable—

(i) to carry out this subpart;

(ii) to facilitate the practical administration of this subpart;

(iii) to facilitate a transition of land subject to the contract from a retired or retiring owner or operator to a beginning farmer or rancher or socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher for the purpose of returning some or all of the land into production using sustainable grazing or crop production methods; or

(iv) to achieve such other goals as the Secretary determines are appropriate, consistent with this subpart.

(2) Production of agricultural commodities

The Secretary may modify or waive a term or condition of a contract entered into under this subpart in order to permit all or part of the land subject to such contract to be devoted to the production of an agricultural commodity during a crop year, subject to such conditions as the Secretary determines are appropriate.

(d) Termination

(1) In general

The Secretary may terminate a contract entered into with an owner or operator under this subpart if—

(A) the owner or operator agrees to the termination; and

(B) the Secretary determines that the termination would be in the public interest.

(2) Notice to congressional committees

At least 90 days before taking any action to terminate under paragraph (1) all conservation reserve contracts entered into under this subpart, the Secretary shall provide to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate written notice of the action.

(e) Early termination by owner or operator

(1) Early termination

(A) In general

During fiscal year 2015, the Secretary shall allow a participant that entered into a contract under this subpart to terminate the contract at any time if the contract has been in effect for at least 5 years.

(B) Liability for contract violation

The termination shall not relieve the participant of liability for a contract violation occurring before the date of the termination.

(C) Notice to Secretary

The participant shall provide the Secretary with reasonable notice of the desire of the participant to terminate the contract.

(2) Certain land excepted

The following land shall not be subject to an early termination of contract under this subsection:

(A) Filterstrips, waterways, strips adjacent to riparian areas, windbreaks, and shelterbelts.

(B) Land with an erodibility index of more than 15.

(C) Land devoted to hardwood trees.

(D) Wildlife habitat, duck nesting habitat, pollinator habitat, upland bird habitat buffer, wildlife food plots, State acres for wildlife enhancement, shallow water areas for wildlife, and rare and declining habitat.

(E) Farmable wetland and restored wetland.

(F) Land that contains diversions, erosion control structures, flood control structures, contour grass strips, living snow fences, salinity reducing vegetation, cross wind trap strips, and sediment retention structures.

(G) Land located within a federally designated wellhead protection area.

(H) Land that is covered by an easement under the conservation reserve program.

(I) Land located within an average width, according to the applicable Natural Resources Conservation Service field office technical guide, of a perennial stream or permanent water body.

(J) Land enrolled under the conservation reserve enhancement program.

(3) Effective date

The contract termination shall become effective upon approval by the Secretary.

(4) Prorated rental payment

If a contract entered into under this subpart is terminated under this subsection before the end of the fiscal year for which a rental payment is due, the Secretary shall provide a prorated rental payment covering the portion of the fiscal year during which the contract was in effect.

(5) Renewed enrollment

The termination of a contract entered into under this subpart shall not affect the ability of the owner or operator that requested the termination to submit a subsequent bid to enroll the land that was subject to the contract into the conservation reserve.

(6) Conservation requirements

If land that was subject to a contract is returned to production of an agricultural commodity, the conservation requirements under subchapters II and III shall apply to the use of the land to the extent that the requirements are similar to those requirements imposed on other similar land in the area, except that the requirements may not be more onerous than the requirements imposed on other land.

(f) Transition option for certain farmers or ranchers

(1) Transition to covered farmer or rancher

In the case of a contract modification approved in order to facilitate the transfer of land subject to a contract from a contract holder to a beginning farmer or rancher, a veteran farmer or rancher (as defined in section 2279(e) 1 of title 7), or a socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher (in this subsection referred to as a "covered farmer or rancher"), the Secretary shall—

(A) beginning on the date that is 2 years before the date of termination of the contract—

(i) allow the covered farmer or rancher, in conjunction with the contract holder, to make conservation and land improvements, including preparing to plant an agricultural crop; and

(ii) allow the covered farmer or rancher to begin the certification process under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.);


(B) beginning on the date of termination of the contract, require the contract holder to sell or lease (under a long-term lease or a lease with an option to purchase, including a lease with a term of less than 5 years and an option to purchase) to the covered farmer or rancher the land subject to the contract for production purposes;

(C) require the covered farmer or rancher to develop and implement a conservation plan;

(D) provide to the covered farmer or rancher an opportunity to enroll in the conservation stewardship program or the environmental quality incentives program by not later than the date on which the covered farmer or rancher takes possession of the land through ownership or lease;

(E) give priority to the enrollment of the land covered by the contract in—

(i) the environmental quality incentives program established under subpart A of part IV;

(ii) the conservation stewardship program established under subpart B of part IV; or

(iii) the agricultural conservation easement program established under subchapter VII; and


(F) continue to make annual payments to the contract holder for not more than an additional 2 years after the date of termination of the contract, if the contract holder is not a family member (as defined in section 1308 of title 7) of the covered farmer or rancher.

(2) Reenrollment

To the extent that the maximum number of acres permitted to be enrolled under the conservation reserve program has not been met, the Secretary shall provide a covered farmer or rancher with the option to reenroll any applicable partial field conservation practice that—

(A)(i) is carried out on land described in paragraph (4) or (5) of section 3831(b) of this title; and

(ii) is eligible for continuous enrollment under section 3831(d)(6) of this title; and

(B) is part of an approved conservation plan.

(g) End of contract considerations

The Secretary shall not consider an owner or operator to be in violation of a term or condition of the conservation reserve contract if—

(1) during the year prior to expiration of the contract, the owner or operator—

(A)(i) enters into a contract under the environmental quality incentives program established under subpart A of part IV; and

(ii) begins the establishment of a practice under that contract; or

(B)(i) enters into a contract under the conservation stewardship program established under subpart B of part IV; and

(ii) begins the establishment of a practice under that contract; or


(2) during the 3 years prior to the expiration of the contract, the owner or operator begins the certification process under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.).

(h) Land enrolled in agricultural conservation easement program

The Secretary may terminate or modify a contract entered into under this subpart if eligible land that is subject to such contract is transferred into the agricultural conservation easement program under subchapter VII.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1235, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2101(a), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 249; amended Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2111, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1035; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2111, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1763; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2006, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 719; Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2208, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4549.)

References in Text

Section 2279(e) of title 7, referred to in subsec. (f)(1), was redesignated section 2279(a) of title 7 by Pub. L. 115–334, title XII, §12301(b)(3), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4951.

The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, referred to in subsecs. (f)(1)(A)(ii) and (g)(2), is title XXI of Pub. L. 101–624, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3935, which is classified generally to chapter 94 (§6501 et seq.) of Title 7, Agriculture. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 6501 of Title 7 and Tables.

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 3835, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1235, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1513; Pub. L. 100–233, title VIII, §801, Jan. 6, 1988, 101 Stat. 1710; Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1447(a), Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3605; Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §332(c), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 994, related to contracts, prior to the general amendment of this subpart by Pub. L. 107–171.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 115–334, §2208(a)(1)(A), substituted "contract holder" for "retired farmer or rancher" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (f)(1)(A). Pub. L. 115–334, §2208(a)(1)(C), substituted "2 years" for "1 year" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (f)(1)(A)(i). Pub. L. 115–334, §2208(a)(1)(B), substituted "contract holder" for "retired or retiring owner or operator".

Subsec. (f)(1)(B). Pub. L. 115–334, §2208(a)(1)(B), (D), substituted "contract holder" for "retired or retiring owner or operator" and inserted ", including a lease with a term of less than 5 years and an option to purchase" after "lease with an option to purchase".

Subsec. (f)(1)(E). Pub. L. 115–334, §2208(a)(1)(E), (G), added subpar. (E). Former subpar. (E) redesignated (F).

Pub. L. 115–334, §2208(a)(1)(B), substituted "contract holder" for "retired or retiring owner or operator" in two places.

Subsec. (f)(1)(F). Pub. L. 115–334, §2208(a)(1)(F), redesignated subpar. (E) as (F).

Subsec. (f)(2). Pub. L. 115–334, §2208(a)(2)(A), substituted "To the extent that the maximum number of acres permitted to be enrolled under the conservation reserve program has not been met, the Secretary" for "The Secretary" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (f)(2)(A). Pub. L. 115–334, §2208(a)(2)(B), added subpar. (A) and struck out former subpar. (A) which read as follows: "is eligible for enrollment under the continuous signup option pursuant to section 3834(d)(2)(A)(ii) of this title; and".

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 115–334, §2208(b), amended subsec. (g) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The Secretary shall not consider an owner or operator to be in violation of a term or condition of the conservation reserve contract if—

"(1) during the year prior to expiration of the contract, the land is enrolled in the conservation stewardship program; and

"(2) the activity required under the conservation stewardship program pursuant to such enrollment is consistent with this subpart."

2014—Subsec. (e)(1)(A). Pub. L. 113–79, §2006(a)(1), substituted "During fiscal year 2015, the Secretary" for "The Secretary" and struck out "before January 1, 1995," after "under this subpart".

Subsec. (e)(2)(C) to (J). Pub. L. 113–79, §2006(a)(2), added subpars. (C) to (J) and struck out former subpar. (C) which read as follows: "Other land of high environmental value (including wetland), as determined by the Secretary."

Subsec. (e)(3). Pub. L. 113–79, §2006(a)(3), substituted "upon approval by the Secretary" for "60 days after the date on which the owner or operator submits the notice required under paragraph (1)(C)".

Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 113–79, §2006(b)(1)(A), substituted "Transition to covered farmer or rancher" for "Duties of the Secretary" in heading and, in introductory provisions, substituted "In the case of a contract modification approved in order to facilitate the transfer of land subject to a contract from a retired farmer or rancher to a beginning farmer or rancher, a veteran farmer or rancher (as defined in section 2279(e) of title 7), or a" for "In the case of a contract modification approved in order to facilitate the transfer, as described in subsection (c)(1)(B)(iii), of land to a beginning farmer or rancher or".

Subsec. (f)(1)(A)(i). Pub. L. 113–79, §2006(b)(1)(B), inserted ", including preparing to plant an agricultural crop" after "improvements".

Subsec. (f)(1)(D). Pub. L. 113–79, §2006(b)(1)(C), substituted "the covered farmer or rancher" for "the farmer or rancher".

Subsec. (f)(1)(E). Pub. L. 113–79, §2006(b)(1)(D), substituted "section 1308" for "section 1308–1(b)(3)(B)".

Subsec. (f)(2)(A). Pub. L. 113–79, §2006(b)(2), substituted "option pursuant to section 3834(d)(2)(A)(ii)" for "requirement of section 3831(h)(4)(B)".

Subsecs. (g), (h). Pub. L. 113–79, §2006(c), added subsecs. (g) and (h).

2008—Subsec. (c)(1)(B)(iii), (iv). Pub. L. 110–246, §2111(a), added cl. (iii) and redesignated former cl. (iii) as (iv).

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 110–246, §2111(b), added subsec. (f).

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

Conservation Reserve

Pub. L. 100–45, §10, May 27, 1987, 101 Stat. 323, provided that: "Section 1235(a) of the Food Security Act of 1985 [16 U.S.C. 3835(a)] should be reviewed by the Secretary of Agriculture to ensure that the provisions thereof relating to exceptions to the three-year ownership requirement with respect to eligibility for the conservation reserve are being implemented in a manner to encourage inclusion of producer-owned land in the conservation reserve. However, any such exception to the three-year requirement should be made only if the Secretary determines that the land involved (1) was not acquired for the purpose of placing the land in the conservation reserve or (2) otherwise meets the criteria for exceptions made under section 1235(a)."

1 See References in Text note below.

§3835a. Repealed. Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2007, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 720

Section, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1235A, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2101(a), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 251, related to conversion of land subject to contract to other conserving uses.

Prior sections 3835a and 3836 were omitted in the general amendment of this subpart by Pub. L. 107–171.

Section 3835a, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1235A, as added Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1435, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3582; amended Pub. L. 102–324, §1(b), July 22, 1992, 106 Stat. 447, related to conversion of land subject to contract to other conserving uses.

Section 3836, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1236, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1514; Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §§1436, 1447(a), Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3583, 3605; Pub. L. 107–76, title VII, §759(b)(1), Nov. 28, 2001, 115 Stat. 741, related to cropland base and allotment history.

A prior section 3836a, Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §387, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1020, related to Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2502(b), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 267.

subpart c—wetlands reserve program

§§3837 to 3837f. Repealed. Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2703(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 767

Section 3837, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1237, as added Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1438, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3584; amended Pub. L. 102–237, title II, §204(6), Dec. 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 1855; Pub. L. 103–66, title I, §1402(c), Aug. 10, 1993, 107 Stat. 333; Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §333(a)–(c), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 995; Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, §101(a) [title VII, §752], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681, 2681-32; Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §§2201, 2202, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 252; Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §§2201–2203(a), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1036, 1037; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §§2201–2203(a), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1764, 1765, related to establishment of wetlands reserve program by Secretary.

Section 3837a, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1237A, as added Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1438, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3585; amended Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §333(d), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 996; Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2203, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 252; Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §§2204–2206, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1038, 1039; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §§2204–2206, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1766, 1767, related to easements and agreements.

Section 3837b, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1237B, as added Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1438, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3587, related to duties of owners.

Section 3837c, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1237C, as added Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1438, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3587; amended Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §333(e), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 996; Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2207, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1039; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2207, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1767, related to duties of Secretary.

Section 3837d, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1237D, as added Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1438, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3588; amended Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, §101(a) [title VII, §751], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681, 2681-32; Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §§2208, 2209, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1040; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §§2208, 2209, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1768, related to payments.

Section 3837e, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1237E, as added Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1438, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3589; amended Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2204, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 253; Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2203(b), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1037; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2203(b), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1765, related to changes in ownership; agreement modification; termination.

Section 3837f, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1237F, as added Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1438, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3589; Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2203(c), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1037; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2203(c), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1765, related to administration and funding.

Repeal; Transitional Provisions

Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2703, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 767, provided that:

"(a) Repeal.—Except as provided in subsection (b), subchapter C of chapter 1 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3837 et seq.) is repealed.

"(b) Transitional Provisions.—

"(1) Effect on existing contracts, agreements, and easements.—The amendment made by this section [repealing sections 3837 to 3837f of this title] shall not affect the validity or terms of any contract, agreement, or easement entered into by the Secretary of Agriculture under subchapter C of chapter 1 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 ([former] 16 U.S.C. 3837 et seq.) before the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014 [Feb. 7, 2014], or any payments required to be made in connection with the contract, agreement, or easement.

"(2) Funding.—

"(A) Use of prior year funds.—Notwithstanding the repeal of subchapter C of chapter 1 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 ([former] 16 U.S.C. 3837 et seq.), any funds made available from the Commodity Credit Corporation to carry out the wetlands reserve program under that subchapter for fiscal years 2009 through 2013 shall be made available to carry out contracts, agreements, or easements referred to in paragraph (1) that were entered into prior to the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (including the provision of technical assistance), provided that no such contract, agreement, or easement is modified so as to increase the amount of the payment received.

"(B) Other.—The Secretary [of Agriculture] may use funds made available to carry out the agricultural conservation easement program under subtitle H of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 [16 U.S.C. 3865 et seq.], as added by section 2301, to continue to carry out contracts, agreements, and easements referred to in paragraph (1) using the provisions of law and regulation applicable to such contracts, agreements, and easements as in existence on the day before the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014."

Effect of 1996 Amendments on Existing Agreements

Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §333(f), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 996, provided that: "The amendments made by this section [amending former sections 3837, 3837a, and 3837c of this title] shall not affect the validity or terms of any agreements entered into by the Secretary of Agriculture under subchapter C of chapter 1 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 ([former] 16 U.S.C. 3837 et seq.) before the date of enactment of this Act [Apr. 4, 1996] or any payments required to be made in connection with the agreements."

Part II—Conservation Security and Farmland Protection

subpart a—conservation security program

§§3838 to 3838c. Repealed. Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2301(c)(1), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4551

Section 3838, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1238, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2001(a), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 223, defined terms for this subpart.

A prior section 3838, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1238, as added Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1439, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3590, related to policy of Congress on water quality protection, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §336(h), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1007.

Section 3838a, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1238A, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2001(a), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 225; amended Pub. L. 109–171, title I, §1202(a), Feb. 8, 2006, 120 Stat. 5; Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2301(b), (c), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1047, 1048; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2301(b), (c), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1775, 1776, established a conservation security program to assist producers of agricultural operations in promoting conservation purposes.

A prior section 3838a, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1238A, as added Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1439, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3590, defined terms for purposes of this part, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §336(h), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1007.

Section 3838b, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1238B, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2001(a), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 230, set forth duties of producers under conservation security contracts.

A prior section 3838b, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1238B, as added Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1439, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3590, directed Secretary to formulate and carry out agricultural water quality protection program, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §336(h), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1007.

Section 3838c, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1238C, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2001(a), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 230, set forth duties of Secretary of Agriculture relating to timing and amounts of payments, promulgation of regulations, changes of interest in land, enrollment procedure, and providing technical assistance.

A prior section 3838c, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1238C, as added Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1439, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3594, related to lands eligible for enrollment in water quality protection program, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §336(h), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1007.

subpart b—conservation stewardship program

Prior Provisions

A prior subpart B, consisting of sections 3838h to 3838j, was redesignated subpart C of this part by Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2301(a)(1), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1040, and Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2301(a)(1), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1768, and subsequently repealed by Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2704(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 767.

Codification

Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2101(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 721, amended subpart heading generally.

§§3838d to 3838g. Transferred

Codification

Section 3838d, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1238D, as added Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2301(a)(2), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1040, and Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2301(a)(2), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1768; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2101(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 721, which set out definitions for this subpart, was renumbered section 1240I of Pub. L. 99–198 and transferred to section 3839aa–21 of this title.

A prior section 3838d, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1238D, as added Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1439, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3595, related to technical assistance for water quality protection, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §336(h), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1007.

Section 3838e, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1238E, as added Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2301(a)(2), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1041, and Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2301(a)(2), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1769; amended Pub. L. 112–55, div. A, title VII, §716(b), Nov. 18, 2011, 125 Stat. 582; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2101(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 722, which established a conservation stewardship program, was renumbered section 1240J of Pub. L. 99–198 and transferred to section 3839aa–22 of this title.

A prior section 3838e, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1238E, as added Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1439, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3596, related to demonstration and pilot programs, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §336(h), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1007.

Section 3838f, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1238F, as added Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2301(a)(2), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1042, and Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2301(a)(2), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1770; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2101(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 723, which related to stewardship contracts, was renumbered section 1240K of Pub. L. 99–198 and transferred to section 3839aa–23 of this title.

A prior section 3838f, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1238F, as added Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1439, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3596, related to report to Congress, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §336(h), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1007.

Section 3838g, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1238G, as added Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2301(a)(2), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1045, and Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2301(a)(2), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1773; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2101(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 726, which described duties of the Secretary regarding the conservation stewardship program, was renumbered section 1240L of Pub. L. 99–198 and transferred to section 3839aa–24 of this title.

Termination of Conservation Stewardship Program

Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2301(c)(2), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4552, provided that: "Effective on the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 20, 2018], the conservation stewardship program under subchapter B of chapter 2 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3838d et seq.) (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act) shall cease to be effective."

subpart c—farmland protection program

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2301(a)(1), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1040, and Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2301(a)(1), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1768, both redesignated subpart B of this part as subpart C. Pub. L. 110–234 was repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234.

Section 2503(a) of Pub. L. 107–171, which directed that subchapter B (this subpart) be added at the end of chapter 2 of the Food Security Act of 1985, was executed by adding subchapter B after subchapter A of chapter 2 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (subpart A of this part) to reflect the probable intent of Congress and a prior amendment by section 2401 of Pub. L. 107–171, which had added subchapter C (subpart C of this part) at the end of chapter 2 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985.

Prior Provisions

A prior subpart C, consisting of sections 3838n to 3838q, was redesignated subpart D of this part by Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2301(a)(1), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1040, and Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2301(a)(1), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1768, and was subsequently repealed by Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2705(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 768.

§§3838h to 3838j. Repealed. Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2704(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 767

Section 3838h, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1238H, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2503(a), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 267; amended Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2401(a), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1048; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2401(a), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1776, defined terms used in this subpart.

Section 3838i, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1238I, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2503(a), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 268; amended Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2401(b), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1049; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2401(b), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1777, related to farmland protection program.

Section 3838j, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1238J, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2503(a), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 269; amended Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2402, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1051; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2402, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1779, related to farm viability program.

Repeal; Transitional Provisions

Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2704, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 767, provided that:

"(a) Repeal.—Except as provided in subsection (b), subchapter C of chapter 2 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3838h et seq.) is repealed.

"(b) Transitional Provisions.—

"(1) Effect on existing agreements and easements.—The amendment made by this section [repealing sections 3838h to 3838j of this title] shall not affect the validity or terms of any agreement or easement entered into by the Secretary of Agriculture under subchapter C of chapter 2 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 ([former] 16 U.S.C. 3838h et seq.) before the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014 [Feb. 7, 2014], or any payments required to be made in connection with the agreement or easement.

"(2) Funding.—

"(A) Use of prior year funds.—Notwithstanding the repeal of subchapter C of chapter 2 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 ([former] 16 U.S.C. 3838h et seq.), any funds made available from the Commodity Credit Corporation to carry out the farmland protection program under that subchapter for fiscal years 2009 through 2013 shall be made available to carry out agreements and easements referred to in paragraph (1) that were entered into prior to the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (including the provision of technical assistance).

"(B) Other.—On exhaustion of funds made available under subparagraph (A), the Secretary [of Agriculture] may use funds made available to carry out the agricultural conservation easement program under subtitle H of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 [16 U.S.C. 3865 et seq.], as added by section 2301, to continue to carry out agreements and easements referred to in paragraph (1) using the provisions of law and regulation applicable to such agreements and easements as in existence on the day before the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014."

subpart d—grassland reserve program

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §§2301(a)(1), 2403, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1040, 1051, and Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §§2301(a)(1), 2403, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1768, 1779, both redesignated subpart C of this part as subpart D. Pub. L. 110–234 was repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234.

Section 2401 of Pub. L. 107–171, which directed that subchapter C (this subpart) be added at the end of chapter 2 of the Food Security Act of 1985, was executed by adding subchapter C at the end of chapter 2 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (this part) to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

§§3838n to 3838q. Repealed. Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2705(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 768

Section 3838n, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1238N, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2401, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 258; Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2403, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1051; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2403, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1779, related to establishment of grassland reserve program by Secretary.

Section 3838o, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1238O, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2401, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 259; amended Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2403, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1052; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2403, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1780, related to duties of owners and operators.

Section 3838p, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1238P, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2401, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 261; amended Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2403, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1054; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2403, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1782, related to duties of Secretary.

Section 3838q, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1238Q, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2401, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 262; amended Pub. L. 108–447, div. A, title VII, §797, Dec. 8, 2004, 118 Stat. 2852; Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2403, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1055; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2403, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1783, related to delegation of duty.

Repeal; Transitional Provisions

Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2705, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 768, provided that:

"(a) Repeal.—Except as provided in subsection (b), subchapter D of chapter 2 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3838n et seq.) is repealed.

"(b) Transitional Provisions.—

"(1) Effect on existing contracts, agreements, and easements.—The amendment made by this section [repealing sections 3838n to 3838q of this title] shall not affect the validity or terms of any contract, agreement, or easement entered into by the Secretary of Agriculture under subchapter D of chapter 2 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 ([former] 16 U.S.C. 3838n et seq.) before the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014 [Feb. 7, 2014], or any payments required to be made in connection with the contract, agreement, or easement.

"(2) Funding.—

"(A) Use of prior year funds.—Notwithstanding the repeal of subchapter D of chapter 2 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 ([former] 16 U.S.C. 3838n et seq.), any funds made available from the Commodity Credit Corporation to carry out the grassland reserve program under that subchapter for fiscal years 2009 through 2013 shall be made available to carry out contracts, agreements, or easements referred to in paragraph (1) that were entered into prior to the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (including the provision of technical assistance), provided that no such contract, agreement, or easement is modified so as to increase the amount of the payment received.

"(B) Other.—The Secretary [of Agriculture] may use funds made available to carry out the agricultural conservation easement program under subtitle H of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 [16 U.S.C. 3865 et seq.], as added by section 2301, to continue to carry out contracts, agreements, and easements referred to in paragraph (1) using the provisions of law and regulation applicable to such contracts, agreements, and easements as in existence on the day before the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014."

Part III—Environmental Easement Program

§§3839 to 3839d. Repealed. Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2711, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 771

Section 3839, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1239, as added Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1440, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3597; amended Pub. L. 102–237, title II, §204(7), Dec. 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 1855, related to establishment of environmental easement program by Secretary.

Section 3839a, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1239A, as added Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1440, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3597, related to duties of owners; components of plan.

Section 3839b, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1239B, as added Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1440, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3598, related to duties of Secretary.

Section 3839c, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1239C, as added Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1440, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3599, related to payments.

Section 3839d, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1239D, as added Pub. L. 101–624, title XIV, §1440, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3600, related to changes in ownership; modification of easement.

Part IV—Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Conservation Stewardship Program

Codification

Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2301(a)(1), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4551, substituted "Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Conservation Stewardship Program" for "Environmental Quality Incentives Program" in part heading.

Chapter 4 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985, comprising this part, was originally added to Pub. L. 99–198 by Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §334, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 996. Chapter 4 is shown herein, however, as having been added by Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2301, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 253, because of the extensive revision of the chapter's provisions by Pub. L. 107–171. Such revision did not contain a chapter heading, which was subsequently added by Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2501(b), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1058, and Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2501(b), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1786. Pub. L. 110–234 was repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234.

subpart a—environmental quality incentives program

§3839aa. Purposes

The purposes of the environmental quality incentives program established by this subpart are to promote agricultural production, forest management, and environmental quality as compatible goals, and to optimize environmental benefits, by—

(1) assisting producers in complying with local, State, and national regulatory requirements concerning—

(A) soil, water, and air quality;

(B) wildlife habitat; and

(C) surface and ground water conservation;


(2) avoiding, to the maximum extent practicable, the need for resource and regulatory programs by assisting producers in protecting soil, water, air, and related natural resources and meeting environmental quality criteria established by Federal, State, tribal, and local agencies;

(3) providing flexible assistance to producers to install and maintain conservation practices that sustain food and fiber production while—

(A) enhancing soil, water, and related natural resources, including grazing land, forestland, wetland, and wildlife;

(B) developing and improving wildlife habitat; and

(C) conserving energy; and


(4) assisting producers to make beneficial, cost-effective changes to production systems, including addressing identified, new, or expected resource concerns related to organic production, grazing management, fuels management, forest management, nutrient management associated with crops and livestock, pest management, irrigation management, adapting to, and mitigating against, increasing weather volatility, drought resiliency measures, or other practices on agricultural and forested land.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2301, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 253; amended Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2501(a), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1057; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2501(a), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1785; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2201, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 728; Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §§2301(d)(1)(D), 2302, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4554, 4555.)

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 3839aa, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240, as added Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §334, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 996, related to purposes, prior to the general amendment of this part by Pub. L. 107–171.

Amendments

2018Pub. L. 115–334, §2301(d)(1)(D), substituted "this subpart" for "this part" in introductory provisions.

Par. (4). Pub. L. 115–334, §2302, added par. (4) and struck out former par. (4) which read as follows: "assisting producers to make beneficial, cost effective changes to production systems (including conservation practices related to organic production), grazing management, fuels management, forest management, nutrient management associated with livestock, pest or irrigation management, or other practices on agricultural and forested land."

2014—Par. (3). Pub. L. 113–79, §2201(1), added subpar. (B) and redesignated former subpar. (B) as (C).

Par. (4). Pub. L. 113–79, §2201(2), substituted a period for "; and" at end.

Par. (5). Pub. L. 113–79, §2201(3), struck out par. (5) which read as follows: "consolidating and streamlining conservation planning and regulatory compliance processes to reduce administrative burdens on producers and the cost of achieving environmental goals."

2008Pub. L. 110–246, §2501(a)(1), inserted ", forest management," after "agricultural production" in introductory provisions.

Pars. (3), (4). Pub. L. 110–246, §2501(a)(2), added pars. (3) and (4) and struck out former pars. (3) and (4) which read as follows:

"(3) providing flexible assistance to producers to install and maintain conservation practices that enhance soil, water, related natural resources (including grazing land and wetland), and wildlife while sustaining production of food and fiber;

"(4) assisting producers to make beneficial, cost effective changes to cropping systems, grazing management, nutrient management associated with livestock, pest or irrigation management, or other practices on agricultural land; and".

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

Effect on Existing Contracts

Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2208, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 731, provided that: "The amendments made by this subtitle [subtitle C (§§2201–2208) of title II of Pub. L. 113–79, amending this section and sections 3839aa–1 to 3839aa–4, 3839aa–7, and 3839aa–8 of this title] shall not affect the validity or terms of any contract entered into by the Secretary of Agriculture under chapter 4 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3839aa et seq.) before the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014 [Feb. 7, 2014], or any payments required to be made in connection with the contract."

§3839aa–1. Definitions

In this subpart:

(1) Conservation planning assessment

The term "conservation planning assessment" means a report, as determined by the Secretary, that—

(A) is developed by—

(i) a State or unit of local government (including a conservation district);

(ii) a Federal agency; or

(iii) a third-party provider certified under section 3842(e) of this title (including a certified rangeland professional);


(B) assesses rangeland or cropland function and describes conservation activities to enhance the economic and ecological management of that land; and

(C) can be incorporated into a comprehensive planning document required by the Secretary for enrollment in a conservation program of the Department of Agriculture.

(2) Eligible land

(A) In general

The term "eligible land" means land on which agricultural commodities, livestock, or forest-related products are produced.

(B) Inclusions

The term "eligible land" includes the following:

(i) Cropland.

(ii) Grassland.

(iii) Rangeland.

(iv) Pasture land.

(v) Nonindustrial private forest land.

(vi) Other agricultural land (including cropped woodland, marshes, environmentally sensitive areas, and agricultural land used for the production of livestock) on which identified or expected resource concerns related to agricultural production could be addressed through a contract under the program, as determined by the Secretary.

(3) Incentive practice

The term "incentive practice" means a practice or set of practices approved by the Secretary that, when implemented and maintained on eligible land, address 1 or more priority resource concerns.

(4) Organic system plan

The term "organic system plan" means an organic plan approved under the national organic program established under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.).

(5) Payment

The term "payment" means financial assistance provided to a producer for performing practices under this subpart, including compensation for—

(A) incurred costs associated with planning, design, materials, equipment, installation, labor, management, maintenance, or training; and

(B) income forgone by the producer.

(6) Practice

The term "practice" means 1 or more improvements and conservation activities that are consistent with the purposes of the program under this subpart, as determined by the Secretary, including—

(A) improvements to eligible land of the producer, including—

(i) structural practices;

(ii) land management practices;

(iii) vegetative practices;

(iv) forest management;

(v) soil testing;

(vi) soil remediation to be carried out by the producer; and

(vii) other practices that the Secretary determines would further the purposes of the program; and


(B) conservation activities involving the development of plans appropriate for the eligible land of the producer, including—

(i) comprehensive nutrient management planning;

(ii) planning for resource-conserving crop rotations (as defined in section 3839aa–24(d)(1) of this title);

(iii) soil health planning, including increasing soil organic matter and the use of cover crops;

(iv) a conservation planning assessment;

(v) precision conservation management planning; and

(vi) other plans that the Secretary determines would further the purposes of the program under this subpart.

(7) Priority resource concern

The term "priority resource concern" means a natural resource concern or problem, as determined by the Secretary, that—

(A) is identified at the national, State, or local level as a priority for a particular area of a State; and

(B) represents a significant concern in a State or region.

(8) Program

The term "program" means the environmental quality incentives program established by this subpart.

(9) Soil remediation

The term "soil remediation" means scientifically based practices that—

(A) ensure the safety of producers from contaminants in soil;

(B) limit contaminants in soil from entering agricultural products for human or animal consumption; and

(C) regenerate and sustain the soil.

(10) Soil testing

The term "soil testing" means the evaluation of soil health, including testing for—

(A) the optimal level of constituents in the soil, such as organic matter, nutrients, and the potential presence of soil contaminants, including heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or other contaminants; and

(B) the biological and physical characteristics indicative of proper soil functioning.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240A, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2301, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 253; amended Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2502, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1058; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2502, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1786; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2202, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 729; Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §§2301(d)(1)(E), 2303, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4554, 4555.)

References in Text

The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, referred to in par. (4), is title XXI of Pub. L. 101–624, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3935, which is classified generally to chapter 94 (§6501 et seq.) of Title 7, Agriculture. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 6501 of Title 7 and Tables.

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 3839aa–1, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240A, as added Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §334, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 997, related to definitions of terms, prior to the general amendment of this part by Pub. L. 107–171.

Amendments

2018Pub. L. 115–334, §2301(d)(1)(E), substituted "this subpart" for "this part" wherever appearing.

Par. (1). Pub. L. 115–334, §2303(2), added par. (1). Former par. (1) redesignated (2).

Par. (2). Pub. L. 115–334, §2303(1), (3), redesignated par. (1) as (2) and, in subpar. (B)(vi), inserted "environmentally sensitive areas," after "marshes," and "identified or expected" before "resource concerns". Former par. (2) redesignated (4).

Par. (3). Pub. L. 115–334, §2303(4), added par. (3). Former par. (3) redesignated (5).

Pars. (4), (5). Pub. L. 115–334, §2303(1), redesignated pars. (2) and (3) as (4) and (5), respectively. Former pars. (4) and (5) redesignated (6) and (8), respectively.

Par. (6). Pub. L. 115–334, §2303(1), (5), redesignated par. (4) as (6); in subpar. (A), added cls. (v) and (vi) and redesignated former cl. (v) as (vii); and, in subpar. (B), added cls. (ii) to (v) and redesignated former cl. (ii) as (vi).

Par. (7). Pub. L. 115–334, §2303(6), added par. (7).

Par. (8). Pub. L. 115–334, §2303(1), redesignated par. (5) as (8).

Pars. (9), (10). Pub. L. 115–334, §2303(7), added pars. (9) and (10).

2014—Pars. (2) to (6). Pub. L. 113–79 redesignated pars. (3) to (6) as (2) to (5), respectively, inserted "established under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.)" after "national organic program" in par. (2), and struck out former par. (2). Text of former par. (2) read as follows: "The term 'national organic program' means the national organic program established under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501 et. seq.)."

2008Pub. L. 110–246, §2502, amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section defined "beginning farmer or rancher", "eligible land", "land management practice", "livestock", "practice", and "structural practice".

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

§3839aa–2. Establishment and administration

(a) Establishment

During each of the 2002 through 2023 fiscal years, the Secretary shall provide payments to producers that enter into contracts with the Secretary under the program.

(b) Practices and term

(1) Practices

A contract under the program may apply to the performance of one or more practices.

(2) Term

A contract under the program shall have a term that does not exceed 10 years.

(c) Bidding down

If the Secretary determines that the environmental values of two or more applications for payments are comparable, the Secretary shall not assign a higher priority to the application only because it would present the least cost to the program.

(d) Payments

(1) Availability of payments

Payments are provided to a producer to implement one or more practices under the program.

(2) Limitation on payment amounts

A payment to a producer for performing a practice may not exceed, as determined by the Secretary—

(A) 75 percent of the costs associated with planning, design, materials, equipment, installation, labor, management, maintenance, or training;

(B) 100 percent of income foregone by the producer; or

(C) in the case of a practice consisting of elements covered under subparagraphs (A) and (B)—

(i) 75 percent of the costs incurred for those elements covered under subparagraph (A); and

(ii) 100 percent of income foregone for those elements covered under subparagraph (B).

(3) Special rule involving payments for foregone income

In determining the amount and rate of payments under paragraph (2)(B), the Secretary may accord great significance to a practice that, as determined by the Secretary, promotes—

(A) soil health;

(B) water quality and quantity improvement;

(C) nutrient management;

(D) pest management;

(E) air quality improvement;

(F) wildlife habitat development, including pollinator habitat; or

(G) invasive species management.

(4) Increased payments for certain producers

(A) In general

Notwithstanding paragraph (2), in the case of a producer that is a limited resource, socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher, a veteran farmer or rancher (as defined in section 2279(e) 1 of title 7), or a beginning farmer or rancher, the Secretary shall increase the amount that would otherwise be provided to a producer under this subsection—

(i) to not more than 90 percent of the costs associated with planning, design, materials, equipment, installation, labor, management, maintenance, or training; and

(ii) to not less than 25 percent above the otherwise applicable rate.

(B) Advance payments

(i) In general

On an election by a producer described in subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall provide at least 50 percent of the amount determined under subparagraph (A) in advance for all costs related to purchasing materials or contracting.

(ii) Return of funds

If funds provided in advance are not expended during the 90-day period beginning on the date of receipt of the funds, the funds shall be returned within a reasonable timeframe, as determined by the Secretary.

(iii) Notification and documentation

The Secretary shall—

(I) notify each producer described in subparagraph (A), at the time of enrollment in the program, of the option to receive advance payments under clause (i); and

(II) document the election of each producer described in subparagraph (A) to receive advance payments under clause (i) with respect to each practice that has costs described in that clause.

(5) Financial assistance from other sources

Except as provided in paragraph (6), any payments received by a producer from a State or private organization or person for the implementation of one or more practices on eligible land of the producer shall be in addition to the payments provided to the producer under this subsection.

(6) Other payments

A producer shall not be eligible for payments for practices on eligible land under the program if the producer receives payments or other benefits for the same practice on the same land under another program under this subchapter.

(7) Increased payments for high-priority practices

(A) State determination

Each State, in consultation with the State technical committee established under section 3861(a) of this title for the State, may designate not more than 10 practices to be eligible for increased payments under subparagraph (B), on the condition that the practice, as determined by the Secretary—

(i) addresses specific causes of impairment relating to excessive nutrients in groundwater or surface water;

(ii) addresses the conservation of water to advance drought mitigation and declining aquifers;

(iii) meets other environmental priorities and other priority resource concerns identified in habitat or other area restoration plans; or

(iv) is geographically targeted to address a natural resource concern in a specific watershed.

(B) Increased payments

Notwithstanding paragraph (2), in the case of a practice designated under subparagraph (A), the Secretary may increase the amount that would otherwise be provided for a practice under this subsection to not more than 90 percent of the costs associated with planning, design, materials, equipment, installation, labor, management, maintenance, or training.

(e) Modification or termination of contracts

(1) Voluntary modification or termination

The Secretary may modify or terminate a contract entered into with a producer under the program if—

(A) the producer agrees to the modification or termination; and

(B) the Secretary determines that the modification or termination is in the public interest.

(2) Involuntary termination

The Secretary may terminate a contract under the program if the Secretary determines that the producer violated the contract.

(f) Allocation of funding

(1) Livestock

For each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023, at least 50 percent of the funds made available for payments under the program shall be targeted at practices relating to livestock production, including grazing management practices.

(2) Wildlife habitat

(A) Fiscal years 2014 through 2018

For each of fiscal years 2014 through 2018, at least 5 percent of the funds made available for payments under the program shall be targeted at practices benefitting wildlife habitat under subsection (g).

(B) Fiscal years 2019 through 2023

For each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023, at least 10 percent of the funds made available for payments under the program shall be targeted at practices benefitting wildlife habitat under subsection (g).

(g) Wildlife habitat incentive program

(1) In general

The Secretary shall provide payments under the environmental quality incentives program for conservation practices that support the restoration, development, protection, and improvement of wildlife habitat on eligible land, including—

(A) upland wildlife habitat;

(B) wetland wildlife habitat;

(C) habitat for threatened and endangered species;

(D) fish habitat;

(E) habitat on pivot corners and other irregular areas of a field; and

(F) other types of wildlife habitat, as determined by the Secretary.

(2) State technical committee

In determining the practices eligible for payment under paragraph (1) and targeted for funding under subsection (f), the Secretary shall consult with the relevant State technical committee not less often than once each year.

(3) Maximum term

In the case of a contract under the program entered into solely for the establishment of 1 or more annual management practices for the benefit of wildlife as described in paragraph (1), notwithstanding any maximum contract term established by the Secretary, the contract shall have a term that does not exceed 10 years.

(4) Included practices

For the purpose of providing seasonal wetland habitat for waterfowl and migratory birds, a practice that is eligible for payment under paragraph (1) and targeted for funding under subsection (f) may include—

(A) a practice to carry out postharvest flooding; or

(B) a practice to maintain the hydrology of temporary and seasonal wetlands of not more than 2 acres to maintain waterfowl and migratory bird habitat on working cropland.

(h) Water conservation or irrigation efficiency practice

(1) Availability of payments

The Secretary may provide water conservation and system efficiency payments under this subsection to an entity described in paragraph (2) or a producer for—

(A) water conservation scheduling, water distribution efficiency, soil moisture monitoring, or an appropriate combination thereof;

(B) irrigation-related structural or other measures that conserve surface water or groundwater, including managed aquifer recovery practices; or

(C) a transition to water-conserving crops, water-conserving crop rotations, or deficit irrigation.

(2) Eligibility of certain entities

(A) In general

Notwithstanding section 1308(f)(6) of title 7, the Secretary may enter into a contract under this subsection with a State, irrigation district, groundwater management district, acequia, land-grant mercedes, or similar entity under a streamlined contracting process to implement water conservation or irrigation practices under a watershed-wide project that will effectively conserve water, provide fish and wildlife habitat, or provide for drought-related environmental mitigation, as determined by the Secretary.

(B) Implementation

Water conservation or irrigation practices that are the subject of a contract entered into under subparagraph (A) shall be implemented on—

(i) eligible land of a producer; or

(ii) land that is—

(I) under the control of an irrigation district, groundwater management district, acequia, land-grant mercedes, or similar entity; and

(II) adjacent to eligible land described in clause (i), as determined by the Secretary.

(C) Waiver authority

The Secretary may waive the applicability of the limitations in section 1308–3a(b) of title 7 or section 3839aa–7 of this title for a payment made under a contract entered into under this paragraph if the Secretary determines that the waiver is necessary to fulfill the objectives of the project.

(D) Contract limitations

If the Secretary grants a waiver under subparagraph (C), the Secretary may impose a separate payment limitation for the contract with respect to which the waiver applies.

(3) Priority

In providing payments under this subsection for a water conservation or irrigation practice, the Secretary shall give priority to applications in which—

(A) consistent with the law of the State in which the land on which the practices will be implemented is located, there is a reduction in water use in the operation on that land; or

(B) except in the case of an application under paragraph (2), the producer agrees not to use any associated water savings to bring new land, other than incidental land needed for efficient operations, under irrigated production, unless the producer is participating in a watershed-wide project that will effectively conserve water, as determined by the Secretary.

(4) Effect

Nothing in this subsection authorizes the Secretary to modify the process for determining the annual allocation of funding to States under the program.

(i) Payments for conservation practices related to organic production

(1) Payments authorized

The Secretary shall provide payments under this subsection for conservation practices, on some or all of the operations of a producer, related—

(A) to organic production; and

(B) to the transition to organic production.

(2) Eligibility requirements

As a condition for receiving payments under this subsection, a producer shall agree—

(A) to develop and carry out an organic system plan; or

(B) to develop and implement conservation practices for certified organic production that are consistent with an organic system plan and the purposes of this subpart.

(3) Payment limitations

(A) In general

Payments under this subsection to a person or legal entity, directly or indirectly, may not exceed, in the aggregate—

(i) through fiscal year 2018—

(I) $20,000 per year; or

(II) $80,000 during any 6-year period; and


(ii) during the period of fiscal years 2019 through 2023, $140,000.

(B) Technical assistance

In applying the limitations under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall not take into account payments received for technical assistance.

(4) Exclusion of certain organic certification costs

Payments may not be made under this subsection to cover the costs associated with organic certification that are eligible for cost-share payments under section 6523 of title 7.

(5) Termination of contracts

The Secretary may cancel or otherwise nullify a contract to provide payments under this subsection if the Secretary determines that the producer—

(A) is not pursuing organic certification; or

(B) is not in compliance with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq).

(j) Conservation incentive contracts

(1) Identification of eligible priority resource concerns for States

(A) In general

The Secretary, in consultation with the applicable State technical committee established under section 3861(a) of this title, shall identify watersheds (or other appropriate regions or areas within a State) and the corresponding priority resource concerns for those watersheds or other regions or areas that are eligible to be the subject of an incentive contract under this subsection.

(B) Limitation

For each of the relevant land uses within the watersheds, regions, or other areas identified under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall identify not more than 3 eligible priority resource concerns.

(2) Contracts

(A) Authority

(i) In general

The Secretary shall enter into contracts with producers under this subsection that require the implementation, adoption, management, and maintenance of incentive practices that effectively address at least 1 eligible priority resource concern identified under paragraph (1) for the term of the contract.

(ii) Inclusions

Through a contract entered into under clause (i), the Secretary may provide—

(I) funding, through annual payments, for certain incentive practices to attain increased levels of conservation on eligible land; or

(II) assistance, through a practice payment, to implement an incentive practice.

(B) Term

A contract under this subsection shall have a term of not less than 5, and not more than 10, years.

(C) Prioritization

Notwithstanding section 3839aa–3 of this title, the Secretary shall develop criteria for evaluating incentive practice applications that—

(i) give priority to applications that address eligible priority resource concerns identified under paragraph (1); and

(ii) evaluate applications relative to other applications for similar agriculture and forest operations.

(3) Incentive practice payments

(A) In general

The Secretary shall provide payments to producers through contracts entered into under paragraph (2) for—

(i) adopting and installing incentive practices; and

(ii) managing, maintaining, and improving the incentive practices for the duration of the contract, as determined appropriate by the Secretary.

(B) Payment amounts

In determining the amount of payments under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall consider, to the extent practicable—

(i) the level and extent of the incentive practice to be installed, adopted, completed, maintained, managed, or improved;

(ii) the cost of the installation, adoption, completion, management, maintenance, or improvement of the incentive practice;

(iii) income foregone by the producer, including payments, as appropriate, to address—

(I) increased economic risk;

(II) loss in revenue due to anticipated reductions in yield; and

(III) economic losses during transition to a resource-conserving cropping system or resource-conserving land use; and


(iv) the extent to which compensation would ensure long-term continued maintenance, management, and improvement of the incentive practice.

(C) Delivery of payments

In making payments under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall, to the extent practicable—

(i) in the case of annual payments under paragraph (2)(A)(ii)(I), make those payments as soon as practicable after October 1 of each fiscal year for which increased levels of conservation are maintained during the term of the contract; and

(ii) in the case of practice payments under paragraph (2)(A)(ii)(II), make those payments as soon as practicable on the implementation of an incentive practice.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240B, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2301, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 254; amended Pub. L. 108–447, div. A, title VII, §794(a), Dec. 8, 2004, 118 Stat. 2852; Pub. L. 109–171, title I, §1203(a), Feb. 8, 2006, 120 Stat. 6; Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2503, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1059; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2503, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1787; Pub. L. 112–55, div. A, title VII, §716(c), Nov. 18, 2011, 125 Stat. 582; Pub. L. 113–76, div. A, title VII, §750(a), Jan. 17, 2014, 128 Stat. 42; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2203, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 729; Pub. L. 115–123, div. F, §60102(a), Feb. 9, 2018, 132 Stat. 312; Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §§2301(d)(1)(F), 2304, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4554, 4556.)

References in Text

Section 2279(e) of title 7, referred to in subsec. (d)(4)(A), was redesignated section 2279(a) of title 7 by Pub. L. 115–334, title XII, §12301(b)(3), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4951.

The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, referred to in subsec. (i)(5)(B), is title XXI of Pub. L. 101–624, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3935, which is classified generally to chapter 94 (§6501 et seq.) of Title 7, Agriculture. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 6501 of Title 7 and Tables.

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 3839aa–2, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240B, as added Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §334, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 998, related to establishment and administration of environmental quality incentives program, prior to the general amendment of this part by Pub. L. 107–171.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 115–334, §2304(a), substituted "2023" for "2019".

Pub. L. 115–123 added subsec. (a) and struck out former subsec. (a). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "During each of the 2002 through 2018 fiscal years, the Secretary shall provide payments to producers that enter into contracts with the Secretary under the program."

Subsec. (d)(4)(B)(i). Pub. L. 115–334, §2304(b)(1)(A), substituted "On an election by a producer described in subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall provide at least 50 percent of the amount determined under subparagraph (A) in advance for all costs related to purchasing materials or contracting" for "Not more than 50 percent of the amount determined under subparagraph (A) may be provided in advance for the purpose of purchasing materials or contracting".

Subsec. (d)(4)(B)(iii). Pub. L. 115–334, §2304(b)(1)(B), added cl. (iii).

Subsec. (d)(7). Pub. L. 115–334, §2304(b)(2), added par. (7).

Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 115–334, §2304(c)(1), substituted "2019 through 2023" for "2014 through 2018", "50 percent" for "60 percent", and "production, including grazing management practices" for "production".

Subsec. (f)(2). Pub. L. 115–334, §2304(c)(2), designated existing provisions as subpar. (A), inserted heading, and added subpar. (B).

Subsec. (g)(3), (4). Pub. L. 115–334, §2304(d), added pars. (3) and (4).

Subsec. (h)(1). Pub. L. 115–334, §2304(e)(1), added par. (1) and struck out former par. (1). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The Secretary may provide payments under this subsection to a producer for a water conservation or irrigation practice."

Subsec. (h)(2). Pub. L. 115–334, §2304(e)(3), added par. (2). Former par. (2) redesignated (3).

Subsec. (h)(3). Pub. L. 115–334, §2304(e)(2), (4)(A), redesignated par. (2) as (3) and substituted "payments under this subsection" for "payments to a producer" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (h)(3)(A). Pub. L. 115–334, §2304(e)(4)(B), substituted "State in which the land on which the practices will be implemented is located, there is a reduction in water use in the operation on that land" for "State in which the eligible land of the producer is located, there is a reduction in water use in the operation of the producer".

Subsec. (h)(3)(B). Pub. L. 115–334, §2304(e)(4)(C), inserted "except in the case of an application under paragraph (2)," before "the producer agrees".

Subsec. (h)(4). Pub. L. 115–334, §2304(e)(5), added par. (4).

Subsec. (i)(2)(B). Pub. L. 115–334, §2301(d)(1)(F), substituted "this subpart" for "this part".

Subsec. (i)(3). Pub. L. 115–334, §2304(f), designated first and second sentences as subpars. (A) and (B), respectively, and inserted headings; in subpar. (A), substituted "aggregate—" for "aggregate, $20,000 per year or $80,000 during any 6-year period." and added cls. (i) and (ii); and, in subpar. (B), substituted "In applying the limitations under subparagraph (A)" for "In applying these limitations".

Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 115–334, §2304(g), added subsec. (j).

2014—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 113–79, §2203(1), which directed substitution of "2018" for "2014", was executed by making the substitution for "2015" to reflect the probable intent of Congress and the intervening amendment by Pub. L. 113–76. See below.

Pub. L. 113–76 substituted "2015" for "2014".

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 113–79, §2203(2), added par. (2) and struck out former par. (2). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "A contract under the program shall have a term that—

"(A) at a minimum, is equal to the period beginning on the date on which the contract is entered into and ending on the date that is one year after the date on which all practices under the contract have been implemented; but

"(B) not to exceed 10 years."

Subsec. (d)(3)(A) to (G). Pub. L. 113–79, §2203(3)(A), added subpars. (A) to (G) and struck out former subpars. (A) to (G) which read as follows:

"(A) residue management;

"(B) nutrient management;

"(C) air quality management;

"(D) invasive species management;

"(E) pollinator habitat;

"(F) animal carcass management technology; or

"(G) pest management."

Subsec. (d)(4)(A). Pub. L. 113–79, §2203(3)(B)(i), in introductory provisions, inserted ", a veteran farmer or rancher (as defined in section 2279(e) of title 7)," before "or a beginning farmer or rancher".

Subsec. (d)(4)(B). Pub. L. 113–79, §2203(3)(B)(ii), added subpar. (B) and struck out former subpar. (B). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "Not more than 30 percent of the amount determined under subparagraph (A) may be provided in advance for the purpose of purchasing materials or contracting."

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 113–79, §2203(4), added subsec. (f) and struck out former subsec. (f). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "For each of fiscal years 2002 through 2012, 60 percent of the funds made available for payments under the program shall be targeted at practices relating to livestock production."

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 113–79, §2203(5), added subsec. (g) and struck out former subsec. (g). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The Secretary may enter into alternative funding arrangements with federally recognized Native American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations (including their affiliated membership organizations) if the Secretary determines that the goals and objectives of the program will be met by such arrangements, and that statutory limitations regarding contracts with individual producers will not be exceeded by any Tribal or Native Corporation member."

2011—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 112–55 substituted "2014" for "2012".

2008Pub. L. 110–246, §2503, amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section consisted of subsecs. (a) to (h) relating to provision of cost-share payments and incentive payments, application and term of a contract, bidding down, payment amounts, incentive payments, modification or termination of contracts, allocation of funding for fiscal years 2002 through 2007, and funding for federally recognized Native American Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Corporations.

2006—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 109–171 substituted "2010" for "2007".

2004—Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 108–447 added subsec. (h).

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

1 See References in Text note below.

§3839aa–3. Evaluation of applications

(a) Evaluation criteria

The Secretary shall develop criteria for evaluating applications that will ensure that national, State, and local conservation priorities are effectively addressed.

(b) Prioritization of applications

In evaluating applications under this subpart, the Secretary shall prioritize applications—

(1) based on their overall level of cost-effectiveness to ensure that the conservation practices and approaches proposed are the most efficient means of achieving the anticipated conservation benefits of the project;

(2) based on how effectively and comprehensively the project addresses the designated resource concern or resource concerns;

(3) that best fulfill the purposes of the program; and

(4) that improve conservation practices or systems in place on the operation at the time the contract offer is accepted or that will complete a conservation system.

(c) Grouping of applications

To the greatest extent practicable, the Secretary shall group applications of similar crop or livestock operations for evaluation purposes or otherwise evaluate applications relative to other applications for similar farming operations.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240C, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2301, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 256; amended Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2504, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1062; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2504, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1790; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2204, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 730; Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2301(d)(1)(G), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4554.)

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 3839aa–3, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240C, as added Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §334, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1000, related to evaluation of offers and payments, prior to the general amendment of this part by Pub. L. 107–171.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 115–334 substituted "this subpart" for "this part" in introductory provisions.

2014—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 113–79, §2204(1), substituted "conservation" for "environmental" before "benefits".

Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 113–79, §2204(2), substituted "purposes of the program" for "purpose of the environmental quality incentives program specified in section 3839aa(1) of this title" before semicolon.

2008Pub. L. 110–246, §2504, amended section generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "In evaluating applications for cost-share payments and incentive payments, the Secretary shall accord a higher priority to assistance and payments that—

"(1) encourage the use by producers of cost-effective conservation practices; and

"(2) address national conservation priorities."

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

§3839aa–4. Duties of producers

To receive payments under the program, a producer shall agree—

(1) to implement an environmental quality incentives program plan (including a comprehensive nutrient management plan, if applicable) that describes conservation and environmental purposes to be achieved through 1 or more practices that are approved by the Secretary;

(2) not to conduct any practices on the enrolled land that would tend to defeat the purposes of the program;

(3) on the violation of a term or condition of the contract at anytime the producer has control of the land—

(A) if the Secretary determines that the violation warrants termination of the contract—

(i) to forfeit all rights to receive payments under the contract; and

(ii) to refund to the Secretary all or a portion of the payments received by the owner or operator under the contract, including any interest on the payments, as determined by the Secretary; or


(B) if the Secretary determines that the violation does not warrant termination of the contract, to refund to the Secretary, or accept adjustments to, the payments provided to the owner or operator, as the Secretary determines to be appropriate;


(4) on the transfer of the right and interest of the producer in land subject to the contract, unless the transferee of the right and interest agrees with the Secretary to assume all obligations of the contract, to refund all payments received under the program, as determined by the Secretary;

(5) to supply information as required by the Secretary to determine compliance with the program plan and requirements of the program; and

(6) to comply with such additional provisions as the Secretary determines are necessary to carry out the program plan.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240D, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2301, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 256; amended Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2505, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1062; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2505, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1790; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2205, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 730.)

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 3839aa–4, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240D, as added Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §334, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1000, related to duties of producers, prior to the general amendment of this part by Pub. L. 107–171.

Amendments

2014—Par. (2). Pub. L. 113–79 substituted "enrolled" for "farm, ranch, or forest".

2008Pub. L. 110–246, §2505(1), struck out "technical assistance, cost-share payments, or incentive" before "payments" in introductory provisions.

Par. (2). Pub. L. 110–246, §2505(2), substituted "farm, ranch, or forest land" for "farm or ranch".

Par. (4). Pub. L. 110–246, §2505(3), struck out "cost-share payments and incentive" before "payments".

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

§3839aa–5. Environmental quality incentives program plan

(a) Plan of operations

To be eligible to receive payments under the program, a producer shall submit to the Secretary for approval a plan of operations that—

(1) specifies practices covered under the program;

(2) includes such terms and conditions as the Secretary considers necessary to carry out the program, including a description of the purposes to be met by the implementation of the plan;

(3) in the case of a confined livestock feeding operation, provides for development and progressive implementation of a comprehensive nutrient management plan, if applicable; and

(4) in the case of forest land, is consistent with the provisions of a forest management plan that is approved by the Secretary, which may include—

(A) a forest stewardship plan described in section 2103a of this title;

(B) another practice plan approved by the State forester; or

(C) another plan determined appropriate by the Secretary.

(b) Avoidance of duplication

The Secretary shall—

(1) consider a plan developed in order to acquire a permit under a water or air quality regulatory program as the equivalent of a plan of operations under subsection (a), if the plan contains elements equivalent to those elements required by a plan of operations; and

(2) to the maximum extent practicable, eliminate duplication of planning activities under the program under this subpart and comparable conservation programs.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240E, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2301, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 256; amended Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2506, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1063; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2506, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1791; Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §§2301(d)(1)(H), 2305, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4554, 4561.)

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 3839aa–5, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240E, as added Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §334, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1001, related to environmental quality incentives program plan, prior to the general amendment of this part by Pub. L. 107–171.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 115–334, §2305, inserted "progressive" before "implementation".

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 115–334, §2301(d)(1)(H), substituted "this subpart" for "this part".

2008—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 110–246, §2506(a)(1), (2), substituted "Plan of operations" for "In general" in heading and struck out "cost-share payments or incentive" before "payments" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (a)(4). Pub. L. 110–246, §2506(a)(3)–(5), added par. (4).

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 110–246, §2506(b), amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable, eliminate duplication of planning activities under the program under this part and comparable conservation programs."

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

§3839aa–6. Duties of the Secretary

To the extent appropriate, the Secretary shall assist a producer in achieving the conservation and environmental goals of a program plan by—

(1) providing payments for developing and implementing 1 or more practices, as appropriate; and

(2) providing the producer with information and training to aid in implementation of the plan.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240F, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2301, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 257; amended Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2507, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1063; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2507, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1791.)

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 3839aa–6, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240F, as added Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §334, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1001, related to duties of Secretary, prior to the general amendment of this part by Pub. L. 107–171.

Amendments

2008—Par. (1). Pub. L. 110–246, §2507, struck out "cost-share payments or incentive" before "payments".

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

§3839aa–7. Limitation on payments

Not including payments made under section 3839aa–2(j) of this title, a person or legal entity may not receive, directly or indirectly, cost-share or incentive payments under this subpart that, in aggregate, exceed $450,000 for all contracts entered into under this subpart by the person or legal entity during the period of fiscal years 2014 through 2018, or the period of fiscal years 2019 through 2023, regardless of the number of contracts entered into under this subpart by the person or legal entity.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240G, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2301, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 257; amended Pub. L. 108–447, div. A, title VII, §794(b), Dec. 8, 2004, 118 Stat. 2852; Pub. L. 109–171, title I, §1203(b), Feb. 8, 2006, 120 Stat. 6; Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2508, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1063; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2508, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1791; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2206, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 730; Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §§2301(d)(1)(I), 2306, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4554, 4561.)

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 3839aa–7, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240G, as added Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §334, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1001, related to limitation on payments, prior to the general amendment of this part by Pub. L. 107–171.

Amendments

2018Pub. L. 115–334, §2306, substituted "Not including payments made under section 3839aa–2(j) of this title, a person" for "A person" and inserted "or the period of fiscal years 2019 through 2023," after "2018,".

Pub. L. 115–334, §2301(d)(1)(I), substituted "this subpart" for "this part" wherever appearing.

2014Pub. L. 113–79 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to limitation on payments and included waiver authority in the case of contracts for projects of special environmental significance as determined by the Secretary.

2008Pub. L. 110–246, §2508, designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), inserted heading, substituted "Subject to subsection (b), a person or legal entity" for "An individual or entity" and "$300,000" for "$450,000", substituted "the person" for "the individual" in two places, and added subsec. (b).

2006Pub. L. 109–171 substituted "any six-year period" for "the period of fiscal years 2002 through 2007".

2004Pub. L. 108–447 inserted "(excluding funding arrangements with federally recognized Native American Indian Tribes or Alaska Native Corporations under section 3839aa–2(h) of this title)" after "2007,".

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

§3839aa–8. Conservation innovation grants and payments

(a) Competitive grants for innovative conservation approaches

(1) Grants

Out of the funds made available to carry out this subpart, the Secretary may pay the cost of competitive grants that are intended to stimulate innovative approaches to leveraging the Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production or forest resource management, through the program.

(2) Use

The Secretary may provide grants under this subsection to governmental and non-governmental organizations and persons, on a competitive basis, to carry out projects that—

(A) involve producers who are eligible for payments or technical assistance under the program or community colleges (as defined in section 3319e(a) of title 7) carrying out demonstration projects on land of the community college;

(B) leverage Federal funds made available to carry out the program under this subpart with matching funds provided by State and local governments and private organizations to promote environmental enhancement and protection in conjunction with agricultural production;

(C) ensure efficient and effective transfer of innovative technologies and approaches demonstrated through projects that receive funding under this section, such as market systems for pollution reduction and practices for the storage of carbon in soil;

(D) provide environmental and resource conservation benefits through increased participation by producers of specialty crops;

(E) partner with farmers to develop innovative practices for urban, indoor, or other emerging agricultural operations;

(F) utilize edge-of-field and other monitoring practices on farms—

(i) to quantify the impacts of practices implemented under the program; and

(ii) to assist producers in making the best conservation investments for the operations of the producers;


(G) facilitate on-farm conservation research and demonstration activities; and

(H) facilitate pilot testing of new technologies or innovative conservation practices.

(b) Air quality concerns from agricultural operations

(1) Implementation assistance

The Secretary shall provide payments under this subsection to producers to implement practices to address air quality concerns from agricultural operations and to meet Federal, State, and local regulatory requirements. The funds shall be made available on the basis of air quality concerns in a State and shall be used to provide payments to producers that are cost effective and reflect innovative technologies.

(2) Funding

Of the funds made available to carry out this subpart, the Secretary shall carry out this subsection using $37,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023.

(c) On-farm conservation innovation trials

(1) Definitions

In this subsection:

(A) Eligible entity

The term "eligible entity" means, as determined by the Secretary—

(i) a third-party private entity the primary business of which is related to agriculture;

(ii) a nongovernmental organization with experience working with agricultural producers; or

(iii) a governmental organization.

(B) New or innovative conservation approach

The term "new or innovative conservation approach" means—

(i) new or innovative—

(I) precision agriculture technologies;

(II) enhanced nutrient management plans, nutrient recovery systems, and fertilization systems;

(III) soil health management systems, including systems to increase soil carbon levels;

(IV) water management systems;

(V) resource-conserving crop rotations (as defined in section 3839aa–24(d)(1) of this title);

(VI) cover crops; and

(VII) irrigation systems; and


(ii) any other conservation approach approved by the Secretary as new or innovative.

(2) Testing new or innovative conservation approaches

Using $25,000,000 of the funds made available to carry out this subpart for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023, the Secretary shall carry out on-farm conservation innovation trials, on eligible land of producers, to test new or innovative conservation approaches—

(A) directly with producers; or

(B) through eligible entities.

(3) Incentive payments

(A) Agreements

In carrying out paragraph (2), the Secretary shall enter into agreements with producers (either directly or through eligible entities) on whose land an on-farm conservation innovation trial is being carried out to provide payments (including payments to compensate for foregone income, as appropriate to address the increased economic risk potentially associated with new or innovative conservation approaches) to the producers to assist with adopting and evaluating new or innovative conservation approaches to achieve conservation benefits.

(B) Adjusted gross income requirements

(i) In general

Adjusted gross income requirements under section 1308–3a(b)(1) of title 7 shall—

(I) apply to producers receiving payments under this subsection; and

(II) be enforced by the Secretary.

(ii) Reporting

An eligible entity participating in an on-farm conservation innovation trial under this subsection shall report annually to the Secretary on the amount of payments made to individual farm operations under this subsection.

(C) Limitation on administrative expenses

None of the funds made available to carry out this subsection may be used to pay for the administrative expenses of an eligible entity.

(D) Length of agreements

An agreement entered into under subparagraph (A) shall be for a period determined by the Secretary that is—

(i) not less than 3 years; and

(ii) if appropriate, more than 3 years, including if such a period is appropriate to support—

(I) adaptive management over multiple crop years; and

(II) adequate data collection and analysis by a producer or eligible entity to report the natural resource and agricultural production benefits of the new or innovative conservation approaches to the Secretary.

(4) Flexible adoption

The scale of adoption of a new or innovative conservation approach under an on-farm conservation innovation trial under an agreement under paragraph (2) may include multiple scales on an operation, including whole farm, field-level, or sub-field scales.

(5) Technical assistance

The Secretary shall provide technical assistance—

(A) to each producer or eligible entity participating in an on-farm conservation innovation trial under paragraph (2) with respect to the design, installation, and management of the new or innovative conservation approaches; and

(B) to each eligible entity participating in an on-farm conservation innovation trial under paragraph (2) with respect to data analyses of the on-farm conservation innovation trial.

(6) Geographic scope

The Secretary shall identify a diversity of geographic regions of the United States in which to establish on-farm conservation innovation trials under paragraph (2), taking into account factors such as soil type, cropping history, and water availability.

(7) Soil health demonstration trial

Using funds made available to carry out this subsection, the Secretary shall carry out a soil health demonstration trial under which the Secretary coordinates with eligible entities—

(A) to provide incentives to producers to implement conservation practices that—

(i) improve soil health;

(ii) increase carbon levels in the soil; or

(iii) meet the goals described in clauses (i) and (ii);


(B) to establish protocols for measuring carbon levels in the soil and testing carbon levels on land where conservation practices described in subparagraph (A) were applied to evaluate gains in soil health as a result of the practices implemented by the producers in the soil health demonstration trial; and

(C)(i) not later than September 30, 2020, to initiate a study regarding changes in soil health and, if feasible, economic outcomes, generated as a result of the conservation practices described in subparagraph (A) that were applied by producers through the soil health demonstration trial; and

(ii) to submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate annual reports on the progress and results of the study under clause (i).

(d) Reporting and database

(1) Report required

Not later than September 30, 2019, and every 2 years thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report on the status of activities funded under this section, including—

(A) funding awarded;

(B) results of the activities, including, if feasible, economic outcomes;

(C) incorporation of findings from the activities, such as new technology and innovative approaches, into the conservation efforts implemented by the Secretary; and

(D) on completion of the study required under subsection (c)(7)(C), the findings of the study.

(2) Conservation practice database

(A) In general

The Secretary shall use the data reported under paragraph (1) to establish and maintain a publicly available conservation practice database that provides—

(i) a compilation and analysis of effective conservation practices for soil health, nutrient management, and source water protection in varying soil compositions, cropping systems, slopes, and landscapes; and

(ii) a list of recommended new and effective conservation practices.

(B) Privacy

Information provided under subparagraph (A) shall be transformed into a statistical or aggregate form so as to not include any identifiable or personal information of individual producers.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240H, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2301, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 257; amended Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2509, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1064; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2509, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1792; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2207, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 731; Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §§2301(d)(1)(J), 2307, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4554, 4561.)

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 3839aa–8, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240H, as added Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §334, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1002, related to temporary administration of environmental quality incentives program, prior to the general amendment of this part by Pub. L. 107–171.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 115–334, §2301(d)(1)(J), substituted "this subpart" for "this part".

Subsec. (a)(2)(A). Pub. L. 115–334, §2307(a)(1), substituted "program or community colleges (as defined in section 3319e(a) of title 7) carrying out demonstration projects on land of the community college;" for "program;".

Subsec. (a)(2)(B). Pub. L. 115–334, §2301(d)(1)(J), substituted "this subpart" for "this part".

Subsec. (a)(2)(E) to (H). Pub. L. 115–334, §2307(a)(2), (3), added subpars. (E) and (F) and redesignated former subpars. (E) and (F) as (G) and (H), respectively.

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 115–334, §2307(b), substituted "$37,500,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023" for "$25,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2009 through 2018".

Pub. L. 115–334, §2301(d)(1)(J), substituted "this subpart" for "this part".

Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 115–334, §2307(c), added subsecs. (c) and (d) and struck out former subsec. (c). Prior to amendment, text of subsec. (c) read as follows: "Not later than December 31, 2014, and every two years thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate and the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives a report on the status of projects funded under this section, including—

"(1) funding awarded;

"(2) project results; and

"(3) incorporation of project findings, such as new technology and innovative approaches, into the conservation efforts implemented by the Secretary."

2014—Subsec. (a)(2)(E), (F). Pub. L. 113–79, §2207(1), added subpars. (E) and (F).

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 113–79, §2207(2), substituted "$25,000,000" for "$37,500,000" and "2018" for "2012".

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 113–79, §2207(3), added subsec. (c).

2008Pub. L. 110–246, §2509, amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to conservation innovation grants.

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

§3839aa–9. Repealed. Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2706(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 769

Section, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240I, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2301, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 257; amended Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2510, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1064; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2510, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1792, related to agricultural water enhancement program.

Repeal; Transitional Provisions

Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2706, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 769, provided that:

"(a) Repeal.—Except as provided in subsection (b), section 1240I of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3839aa–9) is repealed.

"(b) Transitional Provisions.—

"(1) Effect on existing contracts and agreements.—The amendment made by this section [repealing section 3839aa–9 of this title] shall not affect the validity or terms of any contract or agreement entered into by the Secretary of Agriculture under section 1240I of the Food Security Act of 1985 ([former] 16 U.S.C. 3839aa–9) before the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014 [Feb. 7, 2014], or any payments required to be made in connection with the contract or agreement.

"(2) Funding.—

"(A) Use of prior year funds.—Notwithstanding the repeal of section 1240I of the Food Security Act of 1985 ([former] 16 U.S.C. 3839aa–9), any funds made available from the Commodity Credit Corporation to carry out the agricultural water enhancement program under that section for fiscal years 2009 through 2013 shall be made available to carry out contracts and agreements referred to in paragraph (1) that were entered into prior to the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (including the provision of technical assistance).

"(B) Other.—On exhaustion of funds made available under subparagraph (A), the Secretary [of Agriculture] may use funds made available to carry out the regional conservation partnership program under subtitle I of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 [16 U.S.C. 3871 et seq.], as added by section 2401, to continue to carry out contracts and agreements referred to in paragraph (1) using the provisions of law and regulation applicable to such contracts and agreements as in existence on the day before the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014."

subpart b—conservation stewardship program

§3839aa–21. Definitions

In this subpart:

(1) Agricultural operation

The term "agricultural operation" means all eligible land, whether or not contiguous, that is—

(A) under the effective control of a producer at the time the producer enters into a contract under the program; and

(B) operated with equipment, labor, management, and production or cultivation practices that are substantially separate from other agricultural operations, as determined by the Secretary.

(2) Conservation activities

(A) In general

The term "conservation activities" means conservation systems, practices, or management measures.

(B) Inclusions

The term "conservation activities" includes—

(i) structural measures, vegetative measures, and land management measures, including agriculture drainage management systems, as determined by the Secretary;

(ii) planning needed to address a priority resource concern;

(iii) development of a comprehensive conservation plan, as defined in section 3839aa–24(e)(1) of this title;

(iv) soil health planning, including planning to increase soil organic matter; and

(v) activities that will assist a producer to adapt to, or mitigate against, increasing weather volatility.

(3) Conservation stewardship plan

The term "conservation stewardship plan" means a plan that—

(A) identifies and inventories priority resource concerns;

(B) establishes benchmark data and conservation objectives;

(C) describes conservation activities to be implemented, managed, or improved; and

(D) includes a schedule and evaluation plan for the planning, installation, and management of the new and existing conservation activities.

(4) Eligible land

(A) In general

The term "eligible land" means—

(i) private or tribal land on which agricultural commodities, livestock, or forest-related products are produced; and

(ii) lands associated with the land described in clause (i) on which priority resource concerns could be addressed through a contract under the program.

(B) Inclusions

The term "eligible land" includes—

(i) cropland;

(ii) grassland;

(iii) rangeland;

(iv) pasture land;

(v) nonindustrial private forest land; and

(vi) other land in agricultural areas (including cropped woodland, marshes, and agricultural land used or capable of being used for the production of livestock), as determined by the Secretary.

(5) Priority resource concern

The term "priority resource concern" means a natural resource concern or problem, as determined by the Secretary, that—

(A) is identified at the national, State, or local level as a priority for a particular area of a State;

(B) represents a significant concern in a State or region; and

(C) is likely to be addressed successfully through the implementation of conservation activities under this program.

(6) Program

The term "program" means the conservation stewardship program established by this subpart.

(7) Stewardship threshold

The term "stewardship threshold" means the level of management required, as determined by the Secretary, to conserve and improve the quality and condition of a natural resource through the use of—

(A) quality criteria under a resource management system;

(B) predictive analytics tools or models developed or approved by the Natural Resources Conservation Service;

(C) data from past and current enrollment in the program; and

(D) other methods that measure conservation and improvement in priority resource concerns, as determined by the Secretary.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240I, formerly §1238D, as added Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2301(a)(2), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1040, and Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2301(a)(2), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1768; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2101(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 721; renumbered §1240I and amended Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §§2301(b), 2308(a), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4551, 4564.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 3838d of this title prior to renumbering by Pub. L. 115–334.

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 enacted identical sections. Pub. L. 110–234 was repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Amendments

2018—Par. (2)(B)(iii)–(v). Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(a)(1), added cls. (iii) to (v).

Par. (7). Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(a)(2), substituted "resource through the use of—" and subpars. (A) to (D) for "resource."

2014Pub. L. 113–79 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section defined terms for this subpart.

Effective Date

Enactment of this subpart and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as a note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

Effect on Existing Contracts by Pub. L. 115–334

Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2301(c)(3)–(5), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4552, 4553, provided that:

"(3) Transitional provisions.—

"(A) Effect on existing contracts and agreements.—The cessation of effectiveness under paragraph (2) [enacting provisions set out as a note under former section 3838d of this title] shall not affect—

"(i) the validity or terms of any contract entered into by the Secretary [of Agriculture] under subchapter B of chapter 2 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3838d et seq.) before the date of enactment of this Act [Dec. 20, 2018], or any payments, modifications, or technical assistance required to be made in connection with the contract; or

"(ii) subject to subparagraph (D), any agreement entered into by the Secretary under the regional conservation partnership program under subtitle I of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3871 et seq.) on or before September 30, 2018, under which conservation stewardship program acres and associated funding have been allocated to the agreement for the purpose of entering into a contract under subchapter B of chapter 2 of subtitle D of title XII of that Act (16 U.S.C. 3838d et seq.) (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act).

"(B) Extension permitted.—Notwithstanding paragraph (2), the Secretary may extend for 1 year a contract described in subparagraph (A)(i) if that contract expires on or before December 31, 2019, under the terms and payment rate of the existing contract and in accordance with subchapter B of chapter 2 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3838d et seq.) (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act).

"(C) Renewal not permitted.—

"(i) In general.—Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), and subject to clause (ii), the Secretary may not renew a contract or agreement described in that subparagraph.

"(ii) Exception.—The Secretary may renew a contract described in subparagraph (A)(i)—

"(I) if that contract expires on or after December 31, 2019;

"(II) under the terms of the conservation stewardship program under subchapter B of chapter 4 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 [16 U.S.C. 3839aa–21 et seq.] (as added by subsections (a)(2) and (b)); and

"(III) subject to the limitation on funding for that subchapter under section 1241 of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3841).

"(D) RCPP contracts.—

"(i) Treatment of acreage.—In the case of an agreement described in subparagraph (A)(ii), the Secretary may provide an amount of funding that is equivalent to the value of any acres covered by the agreement.

"(ii) Funds and acres not obligated.—In the case of an agreement described in subparagraph (A)(ii) to which program acres and associated funding have been allocated but not yet obligated to enter into a contract under subchapter B of chapter 2 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3838d et seq.) (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act)—

"(I) the Secretary shall modify the agreement to authorize the entrance into a contract under subchapter B of chapter 4 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 [16 U.S.C. 3839aa–21 et seq.] (as added by subsections (a)(2) and (b)); and

"(II) the funds associated with the conservation stewardship program acres allocated under that agreement, on modification under subclause (I), may be used to enter into conservation stewardship program contracts with producers under subchapter B of chapter 4 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 [16 U.S.C. 3839aa–21 et seq.] (as added by subsections (a)(2) and (b)).

"(4) Contract administration.—Subject to paragraphs (3)(C) and (3)(D)(ii)(II), the Secretary shall administer each contract and agreement described in clauses (i) and (ii) of paragraph (3)(A) until the expiration of the contract or agreement in accordance with the regulations to carry out the conservation stewardship program under subchapter B of chapter 2 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3838d et seq.) (as in effect on the day before the date of enactment of this Act) that are in effect on the day before that date of enactment.

"(5) Funding.—Notwithstanding paragraphs (1) and (2), any funds made available from the Commodity Credit Corporation under section 1241(a)(4) of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3841(a)(4)) for fiscal years 2014 through 2018 shall be available to carry out—

"(A) any contract or agreement described in paragraph (3)(A)(i) for fiscal year 2019;

"(B) any contract or agreement described in paragraph (3)(A)(ii);

"(C) any contract extended under paragraph (3)(B); and

"(D) any contract or agreement under subchapter B of chapter 4 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 [16 U.S.C. 3839aa–21 et seq.] (as added by subsections (a)(2) and (b))."

Effect on Existing Contracts by Pub. L. 113–79

Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2101(b), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 728, provided that:

"(1) In general.—The amendment made by this section [amending sections 3838d to 3838g of this title] shall not affect the validity or terms of any contract entered into by the Secretary of Agriculture under subchapter B of chapter 2 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 ([former] 16 U.S.C. 3838d et seq.) before the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014 [Feb. 7, 2014], or any payments required to be made in connection with the contract.

"(2) Conservation stewardship program.—Funds made available under section 1241(a)(4) of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3841(a)(4)) (as amended by section 2601(a) of this title) may be used to administer and make payments to program participants that enrolled into contracts during any of fiscal years 2009 through 2013."

§3839aa–22. Conservation stewardship program

(a) Establishment and purpose

During each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023, the Secretary shall carry out a conservation stewardship program to encourage producers to address priority resource concerns and improve and conserve the quality and condition of natural resources in a comprehensive manner—

(1) by undertaking additional conservation activities; and

(2) by improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities.

(b) Exclusions

(1) Land enrolled in other conservation programs

Subject to paragraph (2), the following land (even if covered by the definition of eligible land) is not eligible for enrollment in the program:

(A) Land enrolled in the conservation reserve program, unless—

(i) the conservation reserve contract will expire at the end of the fiscal year in which the land is to be enrolled in the program; and

(ii) conservation reserve program payments for land enrolled in the program cease before the first program payment is made to the applicant under this subpart.


(B) Land enrolled in a wetland reserve easement through the agricultural conservation easement program.

(2) Conversion to cropland

Eligible land used for crop production after December 20, 2018, that had not been planted, considered to be planted, or devoted to crop production for at least 4 of the 6 years preceding that date shall not be the basis for any payment under the program, unless the land does not meet such requirement because—

(A) the land had previously been enrolled in the conservation reserve program;

(B) the land has been maintained using long-term crop rotation practices, as determined by the Secretary; or

(C) the land is incidental land needed for efficient operation of the farm or ranch, as determined by the Secretary.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240J, formerly §1238E, as added Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2301(a)(2), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1041, and Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2301(a)(2), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1769; amended Pub. L. 112–55, div. A, title VII, §716(b), Nov. 18, 2011, 125 Stat. 582; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2101(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 722; renumbered §1240J and amended Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §§2301(b), (d)(1)(C), 2308(b), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4551, 4554, 4565.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 3838e of this title prior to renumbering by Pub. L. 115–334.

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 enacted identical sections. Pub. L. 110–234 was repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(b)(1), substituted "2019 through 2023" for "2014 through 2018" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (b)(1)(C). Pub. L. 115–334, §2301(d)(1)(C), struck out subpar. (C) which read as follows: "Land enrolled in the conservation security program."

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(b)(2), substituted "December 20, 2018" for "February 7, 2014".

2014Pub. L. 113–79 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to conservation stewardship program.

2011—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 112–55 substituted "2014" for "2012".

§3839aa–23. Stewardship contracts

(a) Submission of contract offers

To be eligible to participate in the conservation stewardship program, a producer shall submit to the Secretary a contract offer for the agricultural operation that—

(1) demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary that the producer, at the time of the contract offer, meets or exceeds the stewardship threshold for at least 2 priority resource concerns; and

(2) would, at a minimum, meet or exceed the stewardship threshold for at least 1 additional priority resource concern by the end of the stewardship contract by—

(A) installing and adopting additional conservation activities; and

(B) improving, maintaining, and managing existing conservation activities across the entire agricultural operation in a manner that increases or extends the conservation benefits in place at the time the contract offer is accepted by the Secretary.

(b) Evaluation of contract offers

(1) Ranking of applications

(A) In general

In evaluating contract offers submitted under subsection (a) and contract renewals under subsection (e), the Secretary shall rank applications based on—

(i) the natural resource conservation and environmental benefits that result from the conservation treatment on all applicable priority resource concerns at the time of submission of the application;

(ii) the degree to which the proposed conservation activities increase natural resource conservation and environmental benefits; and

(iii) other consistent criteria, as determined by the Secretary.

(B) Additional criterion

If 2 or more applications receive the same ranking under subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall rank those contracts based on the extent to which the actual and anticipated conservation benefits from each contract are provided at the lowest cost relative to other similarly beneficial contract offers.

(2) Prohibition

The Secretary may not assign a higher priority to any application because the applicant is willing to accept a lower payment than the applicant would otherwise be eligible to receive.

(3) Additional criteria

The Secretary may develop and use such additional criteria that the Secretary determines are necessary to ensure that national, State, and local priority resource concerns are effectively addressed.

(c) Entering into contracts

After a determination that a producer is eligible for a contract or contract renewal under this section, and a determination that the contract or contract renewal offer ranks sufficiently high under the evaluation criteria under subsection (b), the Secretary shall enter into a conservation stewardship contract or contract renewal with the producer to enroll the eligible land to be covered by the contract or contract renewal.

(d) Contract provisions

(1) Term

A conservation stewardship contract shall be for a term of 5 years.

(2) Required provisions

The conservation stewardship contract of a producer shall—

(A) state the amount of the payment the Secretary agrees to make to the producer for each year of the conservation stewardship contract under section 3839aa–24(c) of this title;

(B) require the producer—

(i) to implement a conservation stewardship plan that describes the program purposes to be achieved through 1 or more conservation activities;

(ii) to maintain and supply information as required by the Secretary to determine compliance with the conservation stewardship plan and any other requirements of the program; and

(iii) not to conduct any activities on the agricultural operation that would tend to defeat the purposes of the program;


(C) permit all economic uses of the eligible land that—

(i) maintain the agricultural nature of the land; and

(ii) are consistent with the conservation purposes of the conservation stewardship contract;


(D) include a provision to ensure that a producer shall not be considered in violation of the contract for failure to comply with the contract due to circumstances beyond the control of the producer, including a disaster or related condition, as determined by the Secretary;

(E) include provisions requiring that upon the violation of a term or condition of the contract at any time the producer has control of the land—

(i) if the Secretary determines that the violation warrants termination of the contract—

(I) the producer shall forfeit all rights to receive payments under the contract; and

(II) the producer shall refund all or a portion of the payments received by the producer under the contract, including any interest on the payments, as determined by the Secretary; or


(ii) if the Secretary determines that the violation does not warrant termination of the contract, the producer shall refund or accept adjustments to the payments provided to the producer, as the Secretary determines to be appropriate;


(F) include provisions in accordance with paragraphs (3) and (4); and

(G) include any additional provisions the Secretary determines are necessary to carry out the program.

(3) Change of interest in land subject to a contract

(A) In general

At the time of application, a producer shall have control of the eligible land to be enrolled in the program. Except as provided in subparagraph (B), a change in the interest of a producer in eligible land covered by a contract under the program shall result in the termination of the contract with regard to that land.

(B) Transfer of duties and rights

Subparagraph (A) shall not apply if—

(i) within a reasonable period of time (as determined by the Secretary) after the date of the change in the interest in eligible land covered by a contract under the program, the transferee of the land provides written notice to the Secretary that all duties and rights under the contract have been transferred to, and assumed by, the transferee for the portion of the land transferred;

(ii) the transferee meets the eligibility requirements of the program; and

(iii) the Secretary approves the transfer of all duties and rights under the contract.

(4) Modification and termination of contracts

(A) Voluntary modification or termination

The Secretary may modify or terminate a contract with a producer if—

(i) the producer agrees to the modification or termination; and

(ii) the Secretary determines that the modification or termination is in the public interest.

(B) Involuntary termination

The Secretary may terminate a contract if the Secretary determines that the producer violated the contract.

(5) Repayment

If a contract is terminated, the Secretary may, consistent with the purposes of the program—

(A) allow the producer to retain payments already received under the contract; or

(B) require repayment, in whole or in part, of payments received and assess liquidated damages.

(e) Contract renewal

The Secretary may provide the producer an opportunity to renew an existing contract in the first half of the fifth year of the contract period if the producer—

(1) demonstrates compliance with the terms of the existing contract;

(2) agrees to adopt and continue to integrate new or improved conservation activities across the entire agricultural operation, demonstrating continued improvement during the additional 5-year period, as determined by the Secretary; and

(3) agrees, by the end of the contract period—

(A) to meet the stewardship threshold of at least 2 additional priority resource concerns on the agricultural operation; or

(B) to adopt or improve conservation activities, as determined by the Secretary, to achieve higher levels of performance with respect to not less than 2 existing priority resource concerns that are specified by the Secretary in the initial contract.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240K, formerly §1238F, as added Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2301(a)(2), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1042, and Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2301(a)(2), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1770; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2101(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 723; renumbered §1240K and amended Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §§2301(b), 2308(c), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4551, 4565.)

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 3838f of this title prior to renumbering by Pub. L. 115–334.

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 enacted identical sections. Pub. L. 110–234 was repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Amendments

Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(c)(1), added par. (1) and struck out former par. (1) which provided criteria for ranking of applications.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(c)(2), substituted "a contract or contract renewal under this section" for "the program under subsection (a)" and inserted "or contract renewal" after "determination that the contract", after "conservation stewardship contract", and after "covered by the contract".

Subsec. (d)(2)(A). Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(c)(3), substituted "section 3839aa–24(c)" for "section 3838g(d)".

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(c)(4)(A), substituted "The Secretary may provide the producer an opportunity to renew an existing contract in the first half of the fifth year of the contract period" for "At the end of the initial 5-year contract period, the Secretary may allow the producer to renew the contract for 1 additional 5-year period" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (e)(1). Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(c)(4)(B), substituted "existing contract" for "initial contract".

Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(c)(4)(C), inserted "new or improved" before "conservation activities" and "demonstrating continued improvement during the additional 5-year period," before "as determined by the Secretary".

Subsec. (e)(3)(B). Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(c)(4)(D), substituted "to adopt or improve conservation activities, as determined by the Secretary, to achieve higher levels of performance with respect to not less than 2" for "to exceed the stewardship threshold of 2".

2014Pub. L. 113–79 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to stewardship contracts.

§3839aa–24. Duties of the Secretary

(a) In general

To achieve the conservation goals of a contract under the conservation stewardship program, the Secretary shall—

(1) make the program available to eligible producers on a continuous enrollment basis with 1 or more ranking periods, 1 of which shall occur in the first quarter of each fiscal year;

(2) identify not less than 5 priority resource concerns in a particular watershed or other appropriate region or area within a State; and

(3) establish a science-based stewardship threshold for each priority resource concern identified under paragraph (2).

(b) Allocation to States

The Secretary shall allocate funding to States for enrollment, based—

(1) primarily on each State's proportion of eligible land to the total acreage of eligible land in all States; and

(2) also on consideration of—

(A) the extent and magnitude of the conservation needs associated with agricultural production in each State;

(B) the degree to which implementation of the program in the State is, or will be, effective in helping producers address those needs; and

(C) other considerations to achieve equitable geographic distribution of funds, as determined by the Secretary.

(c) Conservation stewardship payments

(1) Availability of payments

The Secretary shall provide annual payments under the program to compensate the producer for—

(A) installing and adopting additional conservation activities; and

(B) improving, maintaining, and managing conservation activities in place at the agricultural operation of the producer at the time the contract offer is accepted by the Secretary.

(2) Payment amount

The amount of the annual payment shall be determined by the Secretary and based, to the maximum extent practicable, on the following factors:

(A) Costs incurred by the producer associated with planning, design, materials, installation, labor, management, maintenance, or training.

(B) Income forgone by the producer.

(C) Expected conservation benefits.

(D) The extent to which priority resource concerns will be addressed through the installation and adoption of conservation activities on the agricultural operation.

(E) The level of stewardship in place at the time of application and maintained over the term of the contract.

(F) The degree to which the conservation activities will be integrated across the entire agricultural operation for all applicable priority resource concerns over the term of the contract.

(G) Such other factors as are determined appropriate by the Secretary.

(3) Exclusions

A payment to a producer under this subsection shall not be provided for—

(A) the design, construction, or maintenance of animal waste storage or treatment facilities or associated waste transport or transfer devices for animal feeding operations; or

(B) conservation activities for which there is no cost incurred or income forgone to the producer.

(4) Delivery of payments

In making payments under this subsection, the Secretary shall, to the extent practicable—

(A) prorate conservation performance over the term of the contract so as to accommodate, to the extent practicable, producers earning equal annual payments in each fiscal year; and

(B) make such payments as soon as practicable after October 1 of each fiscal year for activities carried out in the previous fiscal year.

(5) Payment for cover crop activities

The amount of a payment under this subsection for cover crop activities shall be not less than 125 percent of the annual payment amount determined by the Secretary under paragraph (2).

(d) Supplemental payments for resource-conserving crop rotations and advanced grazing management

(1) Definitions

In this subsection:

(A) Advanced grazing management

The term "advanced grazing management" means the use of a combination of grazing practices (as determined by the Secretary), which may include management-intensive rotational grazing, that provide for—

(i) improved soil health and carbon sequestration;

(ii) drought resilience;

(iii) wildlife habitat;

(iv) wildfire mitigation;

(v) control of invasive plants; and

(vi) water quality improvement.

(B) Management-intensive rotational grazing

The term "management-intensive rotational grazing" means a strategic, adaptively managed multipasture grazing system in which animals are regularly and systematically moved to fresh pasture in a manner that—

(i) maximizes the quantity and quality of forage growth;

(ii) improves manure distribution and nutrient cycling;

(iii) increases carbon sequestration from greater forage harvest;

(iv) improves the quality and quantity of cover for wildlife;

(v) provides permanent cover to protect the soil from erosion; and

(vi) improves water quality.

(C) Resource-conserving crop rotation

The term "resource-conserving crop rotation" means a crop rotation that—

(i) includes at least 1 resource-conserving crop (as defined by the Secretary);

(ii) reduces erosion;

(iii) improves soil fertility and tilth;

(iv) interrupts pest cycles;

(v) builds soil organic matter; and

(vi) in applicable areas, reduces depletion of soil moisture or otherwise reduces the need for irrigation.

(2) Availability of payments

The Secretary shall provide additional payments to producers that, in participating in the program, agree to adopt or improve, manage, and maintain—

(A) resource-conserving crop rotations; or

(B) advanced grazing management.

(3) Eligibility

To be eligible to receive a payment described in paragraph (2), a producer shall agree to adopt or improve, manage, and maintain resource-conserving crop rotations or advanced grazing management for the term of the contract.

(4) Amount of payment

An additional payment provided under paragraph (2) shall be not less than 150 percent of the annual payment amount determined by the Secretary under subsection (c)(2).

(e) Payment for comprehensive conservation plan

(1) Definition of comprehensive conservation plan

In this subsection, the term "comprehensive conservation plan" means a conservation plan that meets or exceeds the stewardship threshold for each priority resource concern identified by the Secretary under subsection (a)(2).

(2) Payment for comprehensive conservation plan

The Secretary shall provide a 1-time payment to a producer that develops a comprehensive conservation plan.

(3) Amount of payment

The Secretary shall determine the amount of payment under paragraph (2) based on—

(A) the number of priority resource concerns addressed in the comprehensive conservation plan; and

(B) the number of types of land uses included in the comprehensive conservation plan.

(f) Payment limitations

A person or legal entity may not receive, directly or indirectly, payments under the program that, in the aggregate, exceed $200,000 under all contracts entered into during fiscal years 2019 through 2023, excluding funding arrangements with Indian tribes, regardless of the number of contracts entered into under the program by the person or legal entity.

(g) Specialty crop and organic producers

The Secretary shall ensure that outreach and technical assistance are available, and program specifications are appropriate to enable specialty crop and organic producers to participate in the program.

(h) Organic certification

(1) Coordination

The Secretary shall establish a transparent means by which producers may initiate organic certification under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 6501 et seq.) while participating in a contract under the program.

(2) Allocation

(A) In general

Using funds made available for the program for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023, the Secretary shall allocate funding to States to support organic production and transition to organic production through paragraph (1).

(B) Determination

The Secretary shall determine the allocation to a State under subparagraph (A) based on—

(i) the number of certified and transitioning organic operations within the State; and

(ii) the number of acres of certified and transitioning organic production within the State.

(i) Regulations

The Secretary shall promulgate regulations that—

(1) prescribe such other rules as the Secretary determines to be necessary to ensure a fair and reasonable application of the limitations established under subsection (f); and

(2) otherwise enable the Secretary to carry out the program.

(j) Streamlining and coordination

To the maximum extent feasible, the Secretary shall provide for streamlined and coordinated procedures for the program and the environmental quality incentives program under subpart A, including applications, contracting, conservation planning, conservation practices, and related administrative procedures.

(k) Soil health

To the maximum extent feasible, the Secretary shall manage the program to enhance soil health.

(l) Annual report

Each fiscal year, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report describing the payment rates for conservation activities offered to producers under the program and an analysis of whether payment rates can be reduced for the most expensive conservation activities.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240L, formerly §1238G, as added Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2301(a)(2), May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1045, and Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2301(a)(2), June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1773; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2101(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 726; renumbered §1240L and amended Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §§2301(b), 2308(d), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4551, 4566.)

References in Text

The Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, referred to in subsec. (h)(1), is title XXI of Pub. L. 101–624, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3935, which is classified generally to chapter 94 (§6501 et seq.) of Title 7, Agriculture. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 6501 of Title 7 and Tables.

Codification

Section was formerly classified to section 3838g of this title prior to renumbering by Pub. L. 115–334.

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 enacted identical sections. Pub. L. 110–234 was repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(d)(1), substituted "allocate funding" for "allocate acres" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(d)(2), (3), redesignated subsec. (d) as (c) and struck out former subsec. (c). Prior to amendment, text of subsec. (c) read as follows: "During the period beginning on February 7, 2014, and ending on September 30, 2022, the Secretary shall, to the maximum extent practicable—

"(1) enroll in the program an additional 10,000,000 acres for each fiscal year; and

"(2) manage the program to achieve a national average rate of $18 per acre, which shall include the costs of all financial assistance, technical assistance, and any other expenses associated with enrollment or participation in the program."

Subsec. (c)(5). Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(d)(4), added par. (5).

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(d)(3), (5)(A), redesignated subsec. (e) as (d) and inserted "and advanced grazing management" after "crop rotations" in heading. Former subsec. (d) redesignated (c).

Subsec. (d)(1). Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(d)(5)(D), inserted par. designation, heading, and introductory provisions, added subpars. (A) and (B), designated existing provisions of par. (1) as subpar. (C), and, in subpar. (C), substituted "The term" for "In this subsection, the term", redesignated former subpars. (A) to (D) and (E) of par. (1) as cls. (i) to (iv) and (vi), respectively, realigned margins, and added cl. (v).

Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(d)(5)(C), redesignated par. (4) as (1). Former par. (1) redesignated (2).

Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(d)(5)(C), (E), redesignated par. (1) as (2), substituted "agree to adopt or improve, manage, and maintain—" for "agree to adopt or improve resource-conserving crop rotations to achieve beneficial crop rotations as appropriate for the eligible land of the producers.", and added subpars. (A) and (B).

Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(d)(5)(B), struck out par. (2). Text read as follows: "The Secretary shall determine whether a resource-conserving crop rotation is a beneficial crop rotation eligible for additional payments under paragraph (1) based on whether the resource-conserving crop rotation is designed to provide natural resource conservation and production benefits."

Subsec. (d)(3). Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(d)(5)(F), substituted "paragraph (2)" for "paragraph (1)" and "agree to adopt or improve, manage, and maintain resource-conserving crop rotations or advanced grazing management for the term of the contract" for "agree to adopt and maintain beneficial resource-conserving crop rotations for the term of the contract".

Subsec. (d)(4). Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(d)(5)(G), added par. (4). Former par. (4) redesignated (1).

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(d)(6), added subsec. (e). Former subsec. (e) redesignated (d).

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(d)(7), substituted "2019 through 2023" for "2014 through 2018".

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(d)(8), substituted "Organic certification" for "Coordination with organic certification" in subsec. heading, designated existing provisions as par. (1) and inserted par. heading, and added par. (2).

Subsecs. (j) to (l). Pub. L. 115–334, §2308(d)(9), added subsecs. (j) to (l).

2014Pub. L. 113–79 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section related to duties of the Secretary.

§3839aa–25. Grassland conservation initiative

(a) Definitions

In this section:

(1) Eligible land

Notwithstanding sections 3839aa–21(4) and 3839aa–22(b)(2) of this title, the term "eligible land" means cropland on a farm for which base acres have been maintained by the Secretary under section 9012(d)(3) of title 7.

(2) Initiative

The term "initiative" means the grassland conservation initiative established under subsection (b).

(b) Establishment and purpose

The Secretary shall establish within the program a grassland conservation initiative for the purpose of assisting producers in protecting grazing uses, conserving and improving soil, water, and wildlife resources, and achieving related conservation values by conserving eligible land through grassland conservation contracts under subsection (e).

(c) Election

Beginning in fiscal year 2019, the Secretary shall provide a 1-time election to enroll eligible land in the initiative under a contract described in subsection (e).

(d) Method of enrollment

The Secretary shall—

(1) notwithstanding subsection (b) of section 3839aa–23 of this title, determine under subsection (c) of that section that eligible land ranks sufficiently high under the evaluation criteria described in subsection (b) of that section; and

(2) enroll the eligible land in the initiative under a contract described in subsection (e).

(e) Grassland conservation contract

(1) In general

Notwithstanding section 3839aa–23(a)(1) of this title, to enroll eligible land in the initiative under a grassland conservation contract, a producer shall agree—

(A) to meet or exceed the stewardship threshold for not less than 1 priority resource concern by the date on which the contract expires; and

(B) to comply with the terms and conditions of the contract.

(2) Terms

A grassland conservation contract entered into under this section shall—

(A)(i) be for a single 5-year term; and

(ii) not be subject to renewal or reenrollment under section 3839aa–23(e) of this title; and

(B) be subject to section 3839aa–23(d) of this title.

(3) Early termination

The Secretary shall allow a producer that enters into a grassland conservation contract under this section—

(A) to terminate the contract at any time; and

(B) to retain payments already received under the contract.

(f) Grassland conservation plan

The grassland conservation plan developed for eligible land shall be limited to—

(1) eligible land; and

(2) resource concerns and activities relating to grassland.

(g) Payments

(1) In general

Beginning in fiscal year 2019, of the funds made available for this subpart under section 3841(a)(3)(B) of this title, and notwithstanding any payment under title I of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, an amendment made by that title, or section 3839aa–24(c) of this title, the Secretary shall make annual grassland conservation contract payments to the producer of any eligible land that is the subject of a grassland conservation contract under this section.

(2) Payment noneligibility

A grassland conservation contract under this section shall not be—

(A) eligible for payments under section 3839aa–24(d) of this title; or

(B) subject to the payment limitations under this subpart.

(3) Limitation

The amount of an annual payment under this subsection shall be $18 per acre, not to exceed the number of base acres on a farm.

(h) Considered planted

The Secretary shall consider land enrolled under a grassland conservation contract under this section during a crop year to be planted or considered planted to a covered commodity (as defined in section 9011 of title 7) during that crop year.

(i) Other contracts

A producer with an agricultural operation that contains land eligible under this section and land eligible under section 3839aa–23 of this title

(1) may enroll the land eligible under this section through a contract under this section or under section 3839aa–23 of this title; and

(2) shall not be prohibited from enrolling the land eligible under section 3839aa–23 of this title through a contract under section 3839aa–23 of this title.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240L–1, as added Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2309, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4569.)

References in Text

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, referred to in subsec. (g)(1), is Pub. L. 115–334, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4490. Title I of the Act enacted section 9071 of Title 7, Agriculture, amended sections 608c, 1308, 1308–3a, 1359bb, 1359ll, 4504, 4553, 7272, 7333, 8737, 8772, 9011 to 9017, 9031, 9032, 9034 to 9039, 9051 to 9060, 9081, 9091, 9092, and 9097 of Title 7, repealed section 9019 and former section 9071 of Title 7, and enacted provisions set out as notes under sections 608c, 1308, 1308–3a, 6932, 9051, 9052, and 9081 of Title 7 and section 6101 of Title 31, Money and Finance. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 2018 Amendment note set out under section 9001 of Title 7 and Tables.

Part V—Other Conservation Programs

§3839bb. Conservation of private grazing land

(a) Purpose

It is the purpose of this section to authorize the Secretary to provide a coordinated technical, educational, and related assistance program to conserve and enhance private grazing land resources and provide related benefits to all citizens of the United States by—

(1) establishing a coordinated and cooperative Federal, State, and local grazing conservation program for management of private grazing land;

(2) strengthening technical, educational, and related assistance programs that provide assistance to owners and managers of private grazing land;

(3) conserving and improving wildlife habitat on private grazing land;

(4) conserving and improving fish habitat and aquatic systems through grazing land conservation treatment;

(5) protecting and improving water quality;

(6) improving the dependability and consistency of water supplies;

(7) identifying and managing weed, noxious weed, and brush encroachment problems on private grazing land; and

(8) integrating conservation planning and management decisions by owners and managers of private grazing land, on a voluntary basis.

(b) Definitions

In this section:

(1) Department

The term "Department" means the Department of Agriculture.

(2) Private grazing land

The term "private grazing land" means private, State-owned, tribally-owned, and any other non-federally owned rangeland, pastureland, grazed forest land, and hay land.

(3) Secretary

The term "Secretary" means the Secretary of Agriculture.

(c) Private grazing land conservation assistance

(1) Assistance to grazing landowners and others

Subject to the availability of appropriations for this section, the Secretary shall establish a voluntary program to provide technical, educational, and related assistance to owners and managers of private grazing land and public agencies, through local conservation districts, to enable the landowners, managers, and public agencies to voluntarily carry out activities that are consistent with this section, including—

(A) maintaining and improving private grazing land and the multiple values and uses that depend on private grazing land;

(B) implementing grazing land management technologies;

(C) managing resources on private grazing land, including—

(i) planning, managing, and treating private grazing land resources;

(ii) ensuring the long-term sustainability of private grazing land resources;

(iii) harvesting, processing, and marketing private grazing land resources; and

(iv) identifying and managing weed, noxious weed, and brush encroachment problems;


(D) protecting and improving the quality and quantity of water yields from private grazing land;

(E) maintaining and improving wildlife and fish habitat on private grazing land;

(F) enhancing recreational opportunities on private grazing land;

(G) maintaining and improving the aesthetic character of private grazing land;

(H) identifying the opportunities and encouraging the diversification of private grazing land enterprises; and

(I) encouraging the use of sustainable grazing systems, such as year-round, rotational, or managed grazing.

(2) Program elements

(A) Funding

If funding is provided to carry out this section, it shall be provided through a specific line-item in the annual appropriations for the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

(B) Technical assistance and education

Personnel of the Department trained in pasture and range management shall be made available under the program to deliver and coordinate technical assistance and education to owners and managers of private grazing land, at the request of the owners and managers.

(C) Partnerships

In carrying out the program under this section, the Secretary shall provide education and outreach activities through partnerships with—

(i) land-grant colleges and universities (as defined in section 3103 of title 7); and

(ii) nongovernmental organizations.

(d) Grazing technical assistance self-help

(1) Findings

Congress finds that—

(A) there is a severe lack of technical assistance for farmers and ranchers that graze livestock;

(B) Federal budgetary constraints preclude any significant expansion, and may force a reduction of, current levels of technical support; and

(C) farmers and ranchers have a history of cooperatively working together to address common needs in the promotion of their products and in the drainage of wet areas through drainage districts.

(2) Establishment of grazing demonstration

In accordance with paragraph (3), the Secretary may establish 2 grazing management demonstration districts at the recommendation of the grazing land conservation initiative steering committee.

(3) Procedure

(A) Proposal

Within a reasonable time after the submission of a request of an organization of farmers or ranchers engaged in grazing, the Secretary shall propose that a grazing management district be established.

(B) Funding

The terms and conditions of the funding and operation of the grazing management district shall be proposed by the producers.

(C) Approval

The Secretary shall approve the proposal if the Secretary determines that the proposal—

(i) is reasonable;

(ii) will promote sound grazing practices; and

(iii) contains provisions similar to the provisions contained in the beef promotion and research order issued under section 2903 of title 7 in effect on April 4, 1996.

(D) Area included

The area proposed to be included in a grazing management district shall be determined by the Secretary on the basis of an application by farmers or ranchers.

(E) Authorization

The Secretary may use authority under the Agricultural Adjustment Act (7 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), reenacted with amendments by the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, to operate, on a demonstration basis, a grazing management district.

(F) Activities

The activities of a grazing management district shall be scientifically sound activities, as determined by the Secretary in consultation with a technical advisory committee composed of ranchers, farmers, and technical experts.

(e) Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $60,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2002 through 2023.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240M, as added Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §335, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1002; amended Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2502(a), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 264; Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2601, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1068; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2601, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1796; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2501, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 751; Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2404, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4572.)

References in Text

The Agricultural Adjustment Act, referred to in subsec. (d)(3)(E), is title I of act May 12, 1933, ch. 25, 48 Stat. 31, as amended, which is classified generally to chapter 26 (§601 et seq.) of Title 7, Agriculture. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 601 of Title 7 and Tables.

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (c)(2)(C). Pub. L. 115–334, §2404(1), added subpar. (C).

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 115–334, §2404(2), substituted "2023" for "2018".

2014—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 113–79 substituted "2018" for "2012".

2008—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 110–246, §2601, substituted "2012" for "2007".

2002Pub. L. 107–171 amended section catchline and text generally. Prior to amendment, section required the Secretary to establish conservation farm option pilot programs for producers of wheat, feed grains, cotton, and rice.

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

§3839bb–1. Repealed. Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2707(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 769

Section, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240N, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2502(a), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 266; amended Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2602, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1068; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2602, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1796, related to wildlife habitat incentive program.

Repeal; Transitional Provisions

Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2707, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 769, provided that:

"(a) Repeal.—Except as provided in subsection (b), section 1240N of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3839bb–1) is repealed.

"(b) Transitional Provisions.—

"(1) Effect on existing contracts and agreements.—The amendment made by this section [repealing section 3839bb–1 of this title] shall not affect the validity or terms of any contract or agreement entered into by the Secretary of Agriculture under section 1240N of the Food Security Act of 1985 ([former] 16 U.S.C. 3839bb–1) before the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014 [Feb. 7, 2014], or any payments required to be made in connection with the contract or agreement.

"(2) Funding.—

"(A) Use of prior year funds.—Notwithstanding the repeal of section 1240N of the Food Security Act of 1985 ([former] 16 U.S.C. 3839bb–1), any funds made available from the Commodity Credit Corporation to carry out the wildlife habitat incentive program under that section for fiscal years 2009 through 2013 shall be made available to carry out contracts or agreements referred to in paragraph (1) which were entered into prior to the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (including the provision of technical assistance).

"(B) Other.—On exhaustion of funds made available under subparagraph (A), the Secretary [of Agriculture] may use funds made available to carry out the environmental quality incentives program under chapter 4 of subtitle D of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3839aa et seq.) to continue to carry out contracts or agreements referred to in paragraph (1) using the provisions of law and regulation applicable to such contracts or agreements as in existence on the day before the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014."

§3839bb–2. Grassroots source water protection program

(a) In general

The Secretary shall establish a national grassroots water protection program to more effectively use onsite technical assistance capabilities of each State rural water association that, as of May 13, 2002, operates a wellhead or groundwater protection program in the State.

(b) Funding

(1) Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $20,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2023.

(2) Availability of funds

In addition to funds made available under paragraph (1), of the funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Secretary shall use $5,000,000, to remain available until expended.

(3) Additional funding

In addition to any other funds made available under this subsection, of the funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Secretary shall use $5,000,000 beginning in fiscal year 2019, to remain available until expended.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240O, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2502(a), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 267; amended Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2603, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1068; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2603, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1796; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2502, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 751; Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2405, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4573.)

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 115–334, §2405(a), substituted "2023" for "2018".

Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 115–334, §2405(b), added par. (3).

2014—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 113–79 amended subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $20,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2012."

2008—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 110–246, §2603, substituted "$20,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2008 through 2012" for "$5,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2002 through 2007".

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

§3839bb–3. Repealed. Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2708, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 770

Section, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240P, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2502(a), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 267; amended Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2604, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1068; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2604, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1796, related to Great Lakes basin program for soil erosion and sediment control.

§3839bb–4. Repealed. Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2709(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 770

Section, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240Q, as added Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2605, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1069, and Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2605, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1797, related to conservation activities on agricultural lands in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Repeal; Transitional Provisions

Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2709, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 770, provided that:

"(a) Repeal.—Except as provided in subsection (b), section 1240Q of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3839bb–4) is repealed.

"(b) Transitional Provisions.—

"(1) Effect on existing contracts, agreements, and easements.—The amendment made by this section [repealing section 3839bb–4 of this title] shall not affect the validity or terms of any contract, agreement, or easement entered into by the Secretary of Agriculture under section 1240Q of the Food Security Act of 1985 ([former] 16 U.S.C. 3839bb–4) before the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014 [Feb. 7, 2014], or any payments required to be made in connection with the contract, agreement, or easement.

"(2) Funding.—

"(A) Use of prior year funds.—Notwithstanding the repeal of section 1240Q of the Food Security Act of 1985 ([former] 16 U.S.C. 3839bb–4), any funds made available from the Commodity Credit Corporation to carry out the Chesapeake Bay watershed program under that section for fiscal years 2009 through 2013 shall be made available to carry out contracts, agreements, and easements referred to in paragraph (1) that were entered into prior to the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (including the provision of technical assistance).

"(B) Other.—The Secretary [of Agriculture] may use funds made available to carry out the regional conservation partnership program under subtitle I of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 [16 U.S.C. 3871 et seq.], as added by section 2401, to continue to carry out contracts, agreements, and easements referred to in paragraph (1) using the provisions of law and regulation applicable to such contracts, agreements, and easements as in existence on the day before the date of enactment of the Agricultural Act of 2014."

§3839bb–5. Voluntary public access and habitat incentive program

(a) Establishment

The Secretary shall establish a voluntary public access program under which States and tribal governments may apply for funding to encourage owners and operators of privately-held farm, ranch, and forest land to voluntarily make that land available for access by the public for wildlife-dependent recreation, including hunting or fishing under programs administered by the States and tribal governments.

(b) Applications

In submitting applications for funding under the program, a State or tribal government shall describe—

(1) the benefits that the State or tribal government intends to achieve by encouraging public access to private farm and ranch land for—

(A) hunting and fishing; and

(B) to the maximum extent practicable, other recreational purposes; and


(2) the methods that will be used to achieve those benefits.

(c) Priority

In approving applications and awarding funding under the program, the Secretary shall give priority to States and tribal governments that propose—

(1) to maximize participation by offering a program the terms of which are likely to meet with widespread acceptance among landowners;

(2) to ensure that land enrolled under the State or tribal government program has appropriate wildlife habitat;

(3) to strengthen wildlife habitat improvement efforts on land enrolled in a conservation reserve enhancement program under section 3831a of this title or on land covered by a wetland reserve easement under section 3865c of this title by providing incentives to increase public hunting and other recreational access on that land;

(4) to use additional Federal, State, tribal government, or private resources in carrying out the program; and

(5) to make available to the public the location of land enrolled.

(d) Relationship to other laws

(1) No preemption

Nothing in this section preempts a State or tribal government law, including any State or tribal government liability law.

(2) Effect of inconsistent opening dates for migratory bird hunting

The Secretary shall reduce by 25 percent the amount of funding otherwise determined for a State under the program if the opening dates for migratory bird hunting in the State are not consistent for residents and non-residents.

(e) Regulations

The Secretary shall promulgate such regulations as are necessary to carry out this section.

(f) Funding

(1) Mandatory funding

Of the funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Secretary shall use to carry out this section, to the maximum extent practicable, $50,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2009 through 2012, $40,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2014 through 2018, and $50,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2019 through 2023.

(2) Enhanced public access to wetland reserve easements

To the maximum extent practicable, of the funds made available under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall use $3,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2019 through 2023 to encourage public access to land covered by wetland reserve easements under section 3865c of this title through agreements with States and tribal governments under this section.

(3) Authorization of appropriations

There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $10,000,000 for fiscal year 2013.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1240R, as added Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2606, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1070, and Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2606, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1798; amended Pub. L. 112–240, title VII, §701(c)(2), Jan. 2, 2013, 126 Stat. 2363; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2503(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 751; Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §§2202(b)(1), 2406, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4537, 4573.)

References in Text

Section 3834(f)(4) of this title, referred to in subsec. (c)(3), was redesignated as section 3834(g)(2) of this title by Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §§2005(b)(2), (e)(3), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 718, 719.

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 enacted identical sections. Pub. L. 110–234 was repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 115–334, §2406(1), substituted "funding" for "grants".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 115–334, §2406(2), substituted "funding" for "a grant" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 115–334, §2406(1), substituted "funding" for "grants" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 115–334, §2406(3), inserted "or on land covered by a wetland reserve easement under section 3865C of this title" before "by providing".

Pub. L. 115–334, §2202(b)(1), substituted "a conservation reserve enhancement program under section 3831a of this title" for "a special conservation reserve enhancement program described in section 3834(f)(4) of this title".

Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 115–334, §2406(2), substituted "funding" for "a grant".

Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 115–334, §2406(4)(A), substituted "2009 through 2012," for "2009 through 2012 and" and inserted ", and $50,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2019 through 2023" before period at end.

Subsec. (f)(2), (3). Pub. L. 115–334, §2406(4)(B), (C), added par. (2) and redesignated former par. (2) as (3).

2014—Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 113–79, in heading, substituted "Mandatory funding" for "Fiscal years 2009 through 2012" and in text, inserted "and $40,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2014 through 2018" before period at end.

2013—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 112–240 added subsec. (f) and struck out former subsec. (f). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "Of the funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Secretary shall use, to the maximum extent practicable, $50,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2009 through 2012."

Effective Date of 2013 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–240 effective Sept. 30, 2012, see section 701(j) of Pub. L. 112–240, set out in a 1-Year Extension of Agricultural Programs note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

Effective Date

Enactment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as a note under section 8701 of Title 7, Agriculture.

§3839bb–6. Terminal lakes assistance

(a) Definitions

In this section:

(1) Eligible land

The term "eligible land" means privately owned agricultural land (including land in which a State has a property interest as a result of State water law)—

(A) that a landowner voluntarily agrees to sell to a State; and

(B) which—

(i)(I) is ineligible for enrollment as a wetland reserve easement established under the agricultural conservation easement program under subtitle H 1 of the Food Security Act of 1985;

(II) is flooded to—

(aa) an average depth of at least 6.5 feet; or

(bb) a level below which the State determines the management of the water level is beyond the control of the State or landowner; or


(III) is inaccessible for agricultural use due to the flooding of adjoining property (such as islands of agricultural land created by flooding);

(ii) is located within a watershed with water rights available for lease or purchase; and

(iii) has been used during at least 5 of the immediately preceding 30 years—

(I) to produce crops or hay; or

(II) as livestock pasture or grazing.

(2) Program

The term "program" means the voluntary land purchase program established under this section.

(3) Terminal lake

The term "terminal lake" means a lake and its associated riparian and watershed resources that is—

(A) considered flooded because there is no natural outlet for water accumulating in the lake or the associated riparian area such that the watershed and surrounding land is consistently flooded; or

(B) considered terminal because it has no natural outlet and is at risk due to a history of consistent Federal assistance to address critical resource conditions, including insufficient water available to meet the needs of the lake, general uses, and water rights.

(b) Assistance

The Secretary shall—

(1) provide grants under subsection (c) for the purchase of eligible land impacted by a terminal lake described in subsection (a)(3)(A); and

(2) provide funds to the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to subsection (e)(2) with assistance in accordance with subsection (d) for terminal lakes described in subsection (a)(3)(B).

(c) Land purchase grants

(1) In general

Using funds provided under subsection (e)(1), the Secretary shall make available land purchase grants to States for the purchase of eligible land in accordance with this subsection.

(2) Implementation

(A) Amount

A land purchase grant shall be in an amount not to exceed the lesser of—

(i) 50 percent of the total purchase price per acre of the eligible land; or

(ii)(I) in the case of eligible land that was used to produce crops or hay, $400 per acre; and

(II) in the case of eligible land that was pasture or grazing land, $200 per acre.

(B) Determination of purchase price

A State purchasing eligible land with a land purchase grant shall ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that the purchase price of such land reflects the value, if any, of other encumbrances on the eligible land to be purchased, including easements and mineral rights.

(C) Cost-share required

To be eligible to receive a land purchase grant, a State shall provide matching non-Federal funds in an amount equal to 50 percent of the amount described in subparagraph (A), including additional non-Federal funds.

(D) Conditions

To receive a land purchase grant, a State shall agree—

(i) to ensure that any eligible land purchased is—

(I) conveyed in fee simple to the State; and

(II) free from mortgages or other liens at the time title is transferred;


(ii) to maintain ownership of the eligible land in perpetuity;

(iii) to pay (from funds other than grant dollars awarded) any costs associated with the purchase of eligible land under this section, including surveys and legal fees; and

(iv) to keep eligible land in a conserving use, as defined by the Secretary.

(E) Loss of Federal benefits

Eligible land purchased with a grant under this section shall lose eligibility for any benefits under other Federal programs, including—

(i) benefits under title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3801 et seq.);

(ii) benefits under the Federal Crop Insurance Act (7 U.S.C. 1501 et seq.); and

(iii) covered benefits described in section 1001D(b) of the Food Security Act of 1985 (7 U.S.C. 1308–3a).

(F) Prohibition

Any Federal rights or benefits associated with eligible land prior to purchase by a State may not be transferred to any other land or person in anticipation of or as a result of such purchase.

(d) Water assistance

(1) In general

The Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Commissioner of Reclamation, may use the funds described in subsection (e)(2) to administer and provide financial assistance to carry out this subsection to provide water and assistance to a terminal lake described in subsection (a)(3)(B) through willing sellers or willing participants only—

(A) to lease water;

(B) to purchase land, water appurtenant to the land, and related interests; and

(C) to carry out research, support, and conservation activities for associated fish, wildlife, plant, and habitat resources.

(2) Exclusions

The Secretary of the Interior may not use this subsection to deliver assistance to the Great Salt Lake in Utah, lakes that are considered dry lakes, or other lakes that do not meet the purposes of this section, as determined by the Secretary of the Interior.

(3) Transitional provision

(A) In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, any funds made available before February 7, 2014, under a provision of law described in subparagraph (B) shall remain available using the provisions of law (including regulations) in effect on the day before February 7, 2014.

(B) Described laws

The provisions of law described in this section are—

(i) section 2507 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (43 U.S.C. 2211 note; Public Law 107–171) (as in effect on the day before February 7, 2014);

(ii) section 207 of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 2003 (Public Law 108–7; 117 Stat. 146);

(iii) section 208 of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 2006 (Public Law 109–103; 119 Stat. 2268, 123 Stat. 2856); and

(iv) section 208 of the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010 (Public Law 111–85; 123 Stat. 2858, 123 Stat. 2967, 125 Stat. 867).

(e) Funding

(1) Commodity Credit Corporation

As soon as practicable after February 7, 2014, the Secretary shall transfer to the "Bureau of Reclamation—Water and Related Resources" account $150,000,000 from the funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to carry out subsection (d), to remain available until expended.

(2) No additional funds

(A) In general

Nothing in this section authorizes any additional funds to carry out this section.

(B) Availability of funds

Any funds made available to carry out this section before December 20, 2018, may remain available until expended.

(f) Termination of authority

The authority provided by this section shall terminate on October 1, 2023.

(Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2507, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 275; Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §2807, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1090; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §2807, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1818; Pub. L. 111–85, title II, §207, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2858; Pub. L. 112–74, div. B, title II, §208(a), Dec. 23, 2011, 125 Stat. 866; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §2507, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 753; Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2821(d), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4603.)

References in Text

The Food Security Act of 1985, referred to in subsecs. (a)(1)(B)(i)(I) and (c)(2)(E)(i), is Pub. L. 99–198, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1354. Title XII of the Act is classified principally to this chapter. Subtitle H of the Food Security Act of 1985 probably means subtitle H (§1265 et seq.) of title XII of Pub. L. 99–198, which is classified generally to subchapter VII of this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 1985 Amendment note set out under section 1281 of Title 7, Agriculture, and Tables.

The Federal Crop Insurance Act, referred to in subsec. (c)(2)(E)(ii), is subtitle A of title V of act Feb. 16, 1938, ch. 30, 52 Stat. 72, which is classified generally to subchapter I (§1501 et seq.) of chapter 36 of Title 7, Agriculture. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 1501 of Title 7 and Tables.

Section 2507 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (43 U.S.C. 2211 note; Public Law 107–171) (as in effect on the day before February 7, 2014), referred to in subsec. (d)(3)(B)(i), is section 2507 of Pub. L. 107–171, title II, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 275, which was classified as a note under section 2211 of Title 43, Public Lands, prior to being amended generally by Pub. L. 113–79 and editorially reclassified as this section.

Section 207 of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 2003, referred to in subsec. (d)(3)(B)(ii), is section 207 of Pub. L. 108–7, div. D, title II, Feb. 20, 2003, 117 Stat. 146, which is not classified to the Code.

Section 208 of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 2006, referred to in subsec. (d)(3)(B)(iii), is section 208 of Pub. L. 109–103, title II, Nov. 19, 2005, 119 Stat. 2268, which is not classified to the Code.

Section 208 of the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2010, referred to in subsec. (d)(3)(B)(iv), is section 208 of Pub. L. 111–85, title II, Oct. 28, 2009, 123 Stat. 2858, which is not classified to the Code.

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 enacted identical sections. Pub. L. 110–234 was repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Section was enacted as part of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, and not as part of title XII of Pub. L. 99–198 which comprises this chapter.

Section was formerly set out as a note under section 2211 of Title 43, Public Lands.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 115–334, §2821(d)(1), added par. (2), redesignated former par. (2) as (1), and struck out former par. (1). Prior to amendment, text of par. (1) read as follows: "There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary to carry out subsection (c) $25,000,000, to remain available until expended."

Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 115–334, §2821(d)(2), added subsec. (f).

2014Pub. L. 113–79 amended section generally. Prior to amendment, section directed Secretary of Agriculture, subject to certain other provisions, to transfer $175,000,000 of the funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation to the Bureau of Reclamation Water and Related Resources Account to provide water to at-risk natural desert terminal lakes.

2011—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 112–74, §208(a)(1), substituted "For the benefit of at-risk natural desert terminal lakes and associated riparian and watershed resources, in any case in which there are willing sellers or willing participants" for "In any case in which there are willing sellers" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 112–74, §208(a)(2), struck out "in the Walker River Basin in accordance with section 208(a)(1)(A) of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 2006 (Public Law 109–103; 119 Stat. 2268)" before "; and".

Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 112–74, §208(a)(3), struck out "in the Walker River Basin" before period at end.

2009—Subsec. (b)(3). Pub. L. 111–85 added par. (3).

2008—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 110–246, §2807(1), substituted "Transfer" for "In general" in heading and "Subject to subsection (b) and paragraph (1) of section 207(a) of Public Law 108–7 (117 Stat. 146), notwithstanding paragraph (3) of that section, on the date of enactment of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, the Secretary of Agriculture shall transfer $175,000,000" for "Subject to subsection (b), as soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Agriculture shall transfer $200,000,000" in text and deleted quotation marks before "(1)" and "(2)".

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 110–246, §2807(2), added subsec. (b) and struck out former subsec. (b). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "The funds described in subsection (a) shall not be used to purchase or lease water rights."

Transfer of Funds

Pub. L. 107–206, title I, §103, Aug. 2, 2002, 116 Stat. 823, provided that not later than 14 days after Aug. 2, 2002, the Secretary of Agriculture was to carry out a transfer of funds under former section 2507(a) of Pub. L. 107–171.

1 See References in Text note below.

SUBCHAPTER V—FUNDING AND ADMINISTRATION

Codification

Subtitle E of title XII of the Food Security Act, comprising this subchapter, was originally enacted by Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1514, and amended by Pub. L. 101–624, Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3359; Pub. L. 102–237, Dec. 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 1818; Pub. L. 102–552, Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 4102; and Pub. L. 104–66, Dec. 21, 1995, 109 Stat. 707. Subtitle E was shown herein, however, as having been added by Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §341, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1007, without reference to the intervening amendments because of the extensive revision of the subtitle's provisions by Pub. L. 104–127. Subsequent amendments to subtitle E have enacted or repealed and reenacted sections throughout the subtitle.

§3841. Commodity Credit Corporation

(a) Annual funding

For each of fiscal years 2014 through 2023, the Secretary shall use the funds, facilities, and authorities of the Commodity Credit Corporation to carry out the following programs under this chapter (including the provision of technical assistance):

(1) The conservation reserve program under subpart B of part I of subchapter IV, including, to the maximum extent practicable—

(A) $12,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2019 through 2023 to provide payments under section 3834(c) of this title; and

(B) $50,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2019 through 2023, including not more than $5,000,000 to provide outreach and technical assistance, to carry out section 3835(f) of this title to facilitate the transfer of land subject to contracts from contract holders to covered farmers or ranchers, as defined in section 3835(f)(1) of this title.


(2) The agricultural conservation easement program under subchapter VII using to the maximum extent practicable—

(A) $400,000,000 for fiscal year 2014;

(B) $425,000,000 for fiscal year 2015;

(C) $450,000,000 for fiscal year 2016;

(D) $500,000,000 for fiscal year 2017;

(E) $250,000,000 for fiscal year 2018; and

(F) $450,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023.


(3) The programs under part IV of subchapter IV, using, to the maximum extent practicable—

(A) for the environmental quality incentives program under subpart A of part IV of subchapter IV—

(i) $1,750,000,000 for fiscal year 2019;

(ii) $1,750,000,000 for fiscal year 2020;

(iii) $1,800,000,000 for fiscal year 2021;

(iv) $1,850,000,000 for fiscal year 2022; and

(v) $2,025,000,000 for fiscal year 2023; and


(B) for the conservation stewardship program under subpart B of part IV of subchapter IV—

(i) $700,000,000 for fiscal year 2019;

(ii) $725,000,000 for fiscal year 2020;

(iii) $750,000,000 for fiscal year 2021;

(iv) $800,000,000 for fiscal year 2022; and

(v) $1,000,000,000 for fiscal year 2023.


(4) The conservation stewardship program under subpart B of part II of subchapter IV (as in effect on the day before December 20, 2018), using such sums as are necessary to administer contracts entered into before December 20, 2018.

(b) Availability of funds

Amounts made available by subsection (a) for fiscal years 2014 through 2023 shall be used by the Secretary to carry out the programs specified in such subsection and shall remain available until expended.

(c) Technical assistance

(1) Availability

Commodity Credit Corporation funds made available for a fiscal year for each of the programs specified in subsection (a)—

(A) shall be available for the provision of technical assistance for the programs for which funds are made available as necessary to implement the programs effectively;

(B) except for technical assistance for the conservation reserve program under subpart B of part I of subchapter IV, shall be apportioned for the provision of technical assistance in the amount determined by the Secretary, at the sole discretion of the Secretary; and

(C) shall not be available for the provision of technical assistance for conservation programs specified in subsection (a) other than the program for which the funds were made available.

(2) Priority

(A) In general

In the delivery of technical assistance under the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act (16 U.S.C. 590a et seq.), the Secretary shall give priority to producers who request technical assistance from the Secretary in order to comply for the first time with the requirements of subchapter II and subchapter III of this chapter as a result of the amendments made by section 2611 of the Agricultural Act of 2014.

(B) Report

Not later than 270 days after February 7, 2014, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report regarding the extent to which the conservation compliance requirements contained in the amendments made by section 2611 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 apply to and impact specialty crop growers, including national analysis and surveys to determine the extent of specialty crop acreage that includes highly erodible land and wetlands.

(3) Report

Not later than December 31, 2014, the Secretary shall submit (and update as necessary in subsequent years) to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report—

(A) detailing the amount of technical assistance funds requested and apportioned in each program specified in subsection (a) during the preceding fiscal year; and

(B) any other data relating to this provision that would be helpful to such Committees.

(4) Compliance report

Not later than November 1 of each year, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a report that includes—

(A) a description of the extent to which the requests for highly erodible land conservation and wetland compliance determinations are being addressed in a timely manner;

(B) the total number of requests completed in the previous fiscal year;

(C) the incomplete determinations on record; and

(D) the number of requests that are still outstanding more than 1 year since the date on which the requests were received from the producer.

(d) Relationship to other law

The use of Commodity Credit Corporation funds under subsection (c) to provide technical assistance shall not be considered an allotment or fund transfer from the Commodity Credit Corporation for purposes of the limit on expenditures for technical assistance imposed by section 714i of title 15.

(e) Regional equity

(1) Equitable distribution

When determining funding allocations each fiscal year, the Secretary shall, after considering available funding and program demand in each State, provide a distribution of funds for conservation programs under subchapter IV (excluding the conservation reserve program under subpart B of part I), subchapter VII, and subchapter VIII to ensure equitable program participation proportional to historical funding allocations and usage by all States.

(2) Minimum percentage

In determining the specific funding allocations under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall—

(A) ensure that during the first quarter of each fiscal year each State has the opportunity to establish that the State can use an aggregate allocation amount of at least 0.6 percent of the funds made available for those conservation programs; and

(B) for each State that can so establish, provide an aggregate amount of at least 0.6 percent of the funds made available for those conservation programs.

(f) Acceptance and use of contributions

(1) Authority to establish contribution accounts

Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary may establish a sub-account for each conservation program administered by the Secretary under subchapter IV to accept contributions of non-Federal funds to support the purposes of the program.

(2) Deposit and use of contributions

Contributions of non-Federal funds received for a conservation program administered by the Secretary under subchapter IV shall be deposited into the sub-account established under this subsection for the program and shall be available to the Secretary, without further appropriation and until expended, to carry out the program.

(g) Allocations review and update

(1) Review

Not later than 1 year after December 20, 2018, the Secretary, acting through the Chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Administrator of the Farm Service Agency, shall conduct a review of conservation programs and authorities under this chapter that utilize annual allocation formulas to determine the sufficiency of the formulas in accounting for relevant data on local natural resource concerns, resource inventories, evaluations and reports, recommendations from State technical committees established under section 3861(a) of this title, State-level economic factors, level of agricultural infrastructure, or related factors that affect conservation program costs.

(2) Update

The Secretary shall improve conservation program allocation formulas as necessary to ensure that—

(A) the formulas adequately reflect the costs of carrying out the conservation programs;

(B) to the maximum extent practicable, local natural resource concerns are considered a leading factor in determining annual funding allocation to States;

(C) the process used at the national level to evaluate State budget proposals and to allocate funds is reviewed annually to assess the effect of allocations in addressing identified natural resource priorities and objectives; and

(D) the allocation of funds to States addresses priority natural resource concerns and objectives.

(h) Assistance to certain farmers or ranchers for conservation access

(1) Assistance

(A) Fiscal years 2009 through 2018

Of the funds made available for each of fiscal years 2009 through 2018 to carry out the environmental quality incentives program and the acres made available for each of such fiscal years to carry out the conservation stewardship program, the Secretary shall use, to the maximum extent practicable—

(i) 5 percent to assist beginning farmers or ranchers; and

(ii) 5 percent to assist socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers.

(B) Fiscal years 2019 through 2023

Of the funds made available for each of fiscal years 2019 through 2023 to carry out the environmental quality incentives program under subpart A of part IV of subchapter IV and the conservation stewardship program under subpart B of part IV of subchapter IV, the Secretary shall use, to the maximum extent practicable—

(i) 5 percent to assist beginning farmers or ranchers; and

(ii) 5 percent to assist socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers.

(2) Repooling of funds

In any fiscal year, amounts not obligated under paragraph (1) by a date determined by the Secretary shall be available for payments and technical assistance to all persons eligible for payments or technical assistance in that fiscal year under the environmental quality incentives program and, in the case of fiscal years 2019 through 2023, under the conservation stewardship program under subpart B of part IV of subchapter IV.

(3) Repooling of acres

In any fiscal year through fiscal year 2018, acres not obligated under paragraph (1)(A) by a date determined by the Secretary shall be available for use in that fiscal year under the conservation stewardship program.

(4) Preference

In providing assistance under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall give preference to a veteran farmer or rancher (as defined in section 2279(e) 1 of title 7) that qualifies under, as applicable, clause (i) or (ii) of paragraph (1)(A) or clause (i) or (ii) of paragraph (1)(B).

(i) Report on program enrollments and assistance

Not later than December 15 of each of calendar years 2019 through 2023, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate an annual report containing statistics by State related to enrollments in conservation programs under this chapter, as follows:

(1) The annual and current cumulative activity reflecting active agreement and contract enrollment statistics.

(2) Secretarial exceptions, waivers, and significant payments, including—

(A) payments made under the agricultural conservation easement program for easements valued at $250,000 or greater;

(B) payments made under the regional conservation partnership program subject to the waiver of adjusted gross income limitations pursuant to section 3871c(c)(3) of this title;

(C) waivers granted by the Secretary under section 1308–3a(b)(3) of title 7;

(D) exceptions and activity associated with section 3839aa–2(h)(2) of this title; and

(E) exceptions provided by the Secretary under section 3865b(b)(2)(B)(ii) of this title.

(j) Conservation standards and requirements

(1) In general

Subject to the requirements of this chapter, the Natural Resources Conservation Service shall serve as the lead agency in developing and establishing technical standards and requirements for conservation programs carried out under this chapter, including—

(A) standards for conservation practices under this chapter;

(B) technical guidelines for implementing conservation practices under this chapter, including the location of the conservation practices; and

(C) standards for conservation plans.

(2) Consistency of farm service agency technical standards and payment rates

The Administrator of the Farm Service Agency shall ensure that—

(A) technical standards of programs administered by the Farm Service Agency are consistent with the technical standards established by the Natural Resources Conservation Service under paragraph (1); and

(B) payment rates, to the extent practicable, are consistent between the Farm Service Agency and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

(Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1241, as added Pub. L. 107–171, title II, §2701, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 278; amended Pub. L. 108–7, div. N, title II, §§213, 216(c), Feb. 20, 2003, 117 Stat. 545, 546; Pub. L. 108–11, title II, §2106(a), Apr. 16, 2003, 117 Stat. 590; Pub. L. 108–199, div. H, §101, Jan. 23, 2004, 118 Stat. 434; Pub. L. 108–324, div. B, §101(e), Oct. 13, 2004, 118 Stat. 1235; Pub. L. 108–498, §1(a), Dec. 23, 2004, 118 Stat. 4020; Pub. L. 109–171, title I, §§1202(b), 1203(c), Feb. 8, 2006, 120 Stat. 5, 6; Pub. L. 110–234, title II, §§2701–2705, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1071–1074; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title II, §§2701–2705, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1799-1802; Pub. L. 112–55, div. A, title VII, §716(d)–(f), Nov. 18, 2011, 125 Stat. 582; Pub. L. 113–76, div. A, title VII, §750(b), Jan. 17, 2014, 128 Stat. 42; Pub. L. 113–79, title II, §§2601–2605, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 756–759; Pub. L. 115–123, div. F, §60102(b), Feb. 9, 2018, 132 Stat. 312; Pub. L. 115–334, title II, §2501, title XII, §12306(g), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4576, 4970.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsecs. (a), (c)(2)(A), (g)(1), (i), and (j)(1), was in the original "this title", meaning title XII of Pub. L. 99–198, which enacted this chapter and former section 2005a of this title and amended sections 590g, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2009 of this title, sections 4207 and 4209 of Title 7, Agriculture, and provisions set out as a note under section 1981 of Title 7.

Part IV of subchapter IV, referred to in subsec. (a)(3), was in the original "chapter 4" or "that chapter", and was translated as meaning "chapter 4 of subtitle D", meaning chapter 4 of subtitle D of title XII of Pub. L. 99–198, which is classified generally to part IV (§3839aa et seq.) of subchapter IV of this chapter, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

Section 2611 of the Agricultural Act of 2014, referred to in subsec. (c)(2), is section 2611 of Pub. L. 113–79, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 762, which amended sections 3811, 3812, 3812a, and 3821 of this title.

The Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment Act, referred to in subsec. (c)(2)(A), is act Apr. 27, 1935, ch. 85, 49 Stat. 163, which is classified generally to chapter 3B (§590a et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 590q of this title and Tables.

Section 2279(e) of title 7, referred to in subsec. (h)(4), was redesignated section 2279(a) of Title 7, Agriculture, by Pub. L. 115–334, title XII, §12301(b)(3), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4951.

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Section 2701 of Pub. L. 107–171, which directed that subtitle E of the Food Security Act of 1985 be amended by striking section 1241 and adding a new section 1241 (this section), was executed by striking section 1241 of subtitle E of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 and adding the new section 1241 in lieu thereof, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 3841, Pub. L. 99–198, title XII, §1241, as added Pub. L. 104–127, title III, §341, Apr. 4, 1996,