It appears likely that USDA will hold a general sign-up for the Conservation Reserve Program later this month, the first general sign-up in almost three years.

How much acreage will be offered isn't being talked about yet, but the difference between the old acreage limit and the new limit under the 2002 law is 2.8 million acres. There are another 2 million acres or so available from acreage that expired in 2001, 2002 and 2003, so authorities could accept about 5 million acres for sign-up.