USDA has released Direct and Counter-cyclical Program (DCP) and Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program enrollment numbers, confirming expectations of relatively limited signup for the new ACRE program in its first year. USDA says approximately 255 million base acres on about 1.7 million farms were enrolled in the programs, and USDA will issue nearly $4 billion in 2009 final direct payments to eligible producers on approved contracts.

Approximately 8% of the total number of farms enrolled in the 2009 DCP and ACRE programs elected to participate in ACRE, representing nearly 13% of the base acres. Of the 32.5 million base acres enrolled in ACRE, just over 9 million were wheat base acres, making it the crop with the second highest number of acres enrolled, after corn. A total of 72 million wheat base acres were enrolled in both programs.

Producers who signed up their farm under DCP are eligible for the traditional Title I farm bill programs – direct payments, counter-cyclical payments and marketing assistance commodity loans.

The optional ACRE program, added under the 2008 Farm Bill, is an alternative revenue-based safety net for crop years 2009 through 2012. Producers participating in the ACRE program are also eligible for direct payments and marketing assistance loans, but direct payments are reduced by 20% and the loan rate is reduced by 30%.

More information about 2009 sign-up results including tables showing the number of farms and base acres enrolled for each commodity by state.