United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Nov 30, 2022

§ 3841.
Commodity Credit Corporation
(a)
Annual funding
For each of fiscal years 2014 through 2031, 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 2031.
(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 each of fiscal years 2023 through 2031; 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 each of fiscal years 2023 through 2031.
(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 2031 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 2031
(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 2031, 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

1
 See References in Text note below.
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; Pub. L. 117–169, title II, § 21001(c)(5), Aug. 16, 2022, 136 Stat. 2017.)
cite as: 16 USC 3841