- § 590a. Purpose
- § 590b. Lands on which preventive measures may be taken
- § 590c. Conditions under which benefits of law extended to nongovernment controlled lands
- § 590d. Cooperation of governmental agencies; officers and employees, appointment and compensation; expenditures for personal services and supplies
- § 590e. Repealed.
- §§ 590e-1, 590e-2. Omitted
- § 590f. Authorization of appropriations and conservation technical assistance funds
- § 590g. Additional policies and purposes of chapter
- §§ 590g-1, 590g-2. Omitted
- § 590h. Payments and grants of aid
- §§ 590h-1, 590h-2. Omitted
- § 590h-3. Repealed.
- § 590h-4. Repealed.
- § 590i. Surveys and investigations; publication of information
- § 590i-1. Omitted
- § 590i-2. Omitted
- § 590j. Definitions
- § 590k. Availability of funds
- § 590l. Expansion of domestic and foreign markets for agricultural commodities; advances for crop insurance; transfer of funds to corporation
- § 590m. Execution of powers of Secretary by Production and Marketing Administration
- § 590n. Payments reviewable only by Secretary
- § 590o. Authorization of appropriations; distribution of appropriated funds
- § 590p. Repealed.
- § 590p-1. Limitation on wetlands drainage assistance to aid wildlife preservation; termination of limitation; redetermination of need for assistance upon change of ownership of lands
- § 590q. Coverage; “State” defined; short title
- § 590q-1. Sale and distribution of supplies, materials, and equipment to other Government agencies; reimbursement
- § 590q-2. Voluntary relinquishment of allotments
- § 590q-3. Critical lands resource conservation program in Great Plains area
There is authorized to be appropriated for the purposes of this chapter such sums as Congress may from time to time determine to be necessary.
Appropriations for carrying out this chapter allocated for the production or procurement of nursery stock by any Federal agency, or funds appropriated to any Federal agency for allocation to cooperating States for the production or procurement of nursery stock, shall remain available for expenditure for not more than three fiscal years.
There is established in the Treasury of the United States a fund to be known as the “Conservation Technical Assistance Fund” (referred to in this subsection as the “Fund”), to be administered by the Secretary of Agriculture.
An amount equal to the amounts collected as fees under section 590c(4) of this title and late payments, interest, and such other amounts as are authorized to be collected pursuant to section 3717 of title 31 shall be deposited in the Fund.
It is hereby declared to be the policy of this chapter also to secure, and the purposes of this chapter shall also include, (1) preservation and improvement of soil and water quality and related resources; (2) promotion of the economic use and conservation of land; (3) diminution of exploitation and wasteful and unscientific use of national soil resources; (4) the protection of rivers and harbors against the results of soil erosion in aid of maintaining the navigability of waters and water courses and in aid of flood control; (5) reestablishment, at as rapid a rate as the Secretary of Agriculture determines to be practicable and in the general public interest, of the ratio between the purchasing power of the net income per person on farms and that of the income per person not on farms that prevailed during the five-year period August 1909–July 1914, inclusive, as determined from statistics available in the United States Department of Agriculture, and the maintenance of such ratio; (6) prevention and abatement of agricultural-related pollution,1
The Secretary shall provide technical assistance, cost-share payments, and incentive payments to operators through the environmental quality incentives program in accordance with 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.].
The Secretary shall appoint in each State a State committee composed of not fewer than 3 nor more than 5 members who are fairly representative of the farmers in the State. The members of a State committee shall serve at the pleasure of the Secretary for such term as the Secretary may establish.
In each county or area in which activities are carried out under this section, the Secretary shall establish a county or area committee.
The Secretary may designate local administrative areas within a county or a larger area under the jurisdiction of a committee established under subclause (I).
The Secretary shall develop procedures to maintain representation of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers on combined or consolidated committees.
Notwithstanding any other producer eligibility requirements for service on county or area committees, if a county or area is consolidated or combined, a producer shall be eligible to serve only as a member of the county or area committee that the producer elects to administer the farm records of the producer.
Subject to subclauses (II) through (V), the Secretary shall establish procedures for nominations and elections to county, area, or local committees.
Each solicitation of nominations for, and notice of elections of, a county, area, or local committee shall include the nondiscrimination statement used by the Secretary.
To be eligible for nomination and election to the applicable county, area, or local committee, as determined by the Secretary, an agricultural producer shall be located within the area under the jurisdiction of a county, area, or local committee, and participate or cooperate in programs administered within that area.
In addition to such nominating procedures as the Secretary may prescribe, the Secretary shall solicit and accept nominations from organizations representing the interests of socially disadvantaged groups (as defined in section 355(e)(1) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 2003(e)(1)).1
At least 10 days before the date on which ballots are to be opened and counted, a county, area, or local committee shall announce the date, time, and place at which election ballots will be opened and counted.
Election ballots shall not be opened until the date and time announced under item (aa).
Any person may observe the opening and counting of the election ballots.
Not later than 90 days after the date on which the first election of a county, area, or local committee that occurs after May 13, 2002, is held, the Secretary shall complete a report that consolidates all the election data reported to the Secretary under subclause (V).
If determined necessary by the Secretary after analyzing the data contained in the report under subclause (VI), the Secretary shall promulgate and publish in the Federal Register proposed uniform guidelines for conducting elections for members and alternate members of county, area, and local committees not later than 1 year after the date of completion of the report.
The procedures promulgated by the Secretary under item (aa) shall ensure fair representation of socially disadvantaged groups described in subclause (III)(bb) in an area covered by the county, area, or local committee, in cases in which those groups are underrepresented on the county, area, or local committee for that area.
Notwithstanding clause (ii), the Secretary may ensure inclusion of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers through provisions allowing for appointment of 1 additional voting member to a county, area, or local committee or through other methods.
The term of office for a member of a county, area, or local committee shall not exceed 3 years.
The Secretary shall maintain and make readily available to the public, via website and otherwise in electronic and paper form, all data required to be collected and computed under section 2279–1(c) of title 7 and clause (iii)(V) collected annually since the most recent Census of Agriculture.
After each Census of Agriculture, the Secretary shall report to Congress the rate of loss or gain in participation by each socially disadvantaged group, by race, ethnicity, and gender, since the previous Census.
The Secretary shall use the services of such committees in carrying out programs under this section and the agricultural credit programs under the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1921 et seq.) and in considering administrative appeals as provided by section 6932(d) of title 7. The Secretary may use the services of such committees in carrying out programs under other authorities administered by the Secretary.
In carrying out this section, the Secretary may use other approved agencies.
In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall not have the authority to acquire any land or any right or interest in land.
A payment that may be made to a producer under this section may be assigned only in accordance with regulations issued by the Secretary. This subsection shall not authorize any suit against or impose any liability on the Secretary, any disbursing agent, or any agency of the United States if payment is made to the producer without regard to the existence of any such assignment.
The Secretary is authorized to conduct surveys, investigations, and research relating to the conditions and factors affecting, and methods of accomplishing most effectively, the policy and purposes of section 590g(a) of this title. Notwithstanding any provision of existing law, the Secretary is authorized to make public such information as he deems necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
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.
All funds available for carrying out this chapter shall be available for allotment to the bureaus and offices of the Department of Agriculture and for transfer to such other agencies of the Federal or State Governments, or to local public agencies, as the Secretary may request to cooperate or assist in carrying out this chapter, and for payments to committees or associations of producers in any region or regions to cover the estimated administrative expenses to be incurred by any such committee or association in cooperating in carrying out this chapter: Provided, That the Secretary may prescribe that all or part of such estimated expenses of any such committee or association may be deducted pro rata from the payments or grants made to the members thereof: Provided further, That the Secretary may make such payments in advance of determination of performance. Funds so transferred may be placed in a single account for each State.
Whenever the Secretary finds that the exercise of the powers conferred in this section will tend to carry out the purpose specified in clause (5) of section 590g(a) of this title, or will tend to provide for and maintain a continuous and stable supply of agricultural commodities adequate to meet consumer demand at prices fair to both producers and consumers, or both, he shall use such part as he deems necessary of the sums appropriated to carry out this chapter for the expansion of domestic and foreign markets or for seeking new or additional markets for agricultural commodities or the products thereof or for the removal or disposition of surpluses of such commodities or the products thereof.
The Secretary is authorized to make advances to producers for the purpose of assisting them to insure their crops with the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation. The Secretary shall remit the amount of any such advances to a producer directly to such Corporation in payment of the premium on the insurance for which the producer has made application. Advances shall only be made to producers who are participating or who agree to participate in a program formulated pursuant to section 590h of this title. Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, the terms and conditions of such advances shall be fixed by the Secretary. In carrying out the provisions of this subsection, the Secretary may transfer to the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, prior to the execution of applications for insurance or requests for advances by producers, the funds estimated as necessary to cover the advances which will be requested for the payment of premiums under a crop-insurance program, and any portion of such funds not used for advances to producers under such program shall be returned to the Secretary by the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation.
Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this chapter, the Secretary is authorized and directed to provide for the execution by the Production and Marketing Administration of such powers conferred upon him under sections 590g, 590h, 590i, and 590j to 590n of this title as he deems may be appropriately exercised by such Administration, and for such purposes the provisions of law applicable to the appointment and compensation of persons employed by the Production and Marketing Administration shall apply.
The facts constituting the bases for any payment or grant or the amount thereof authorized to be made under section 590g of this title, when officially determined in conformity with rules or regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Agriculture, shall be reviewable only by the Secretary of Agriculture.
To enable the Secretary of Agriculture to carry out the purposes of section 590g of this title there is authorized to be appropriated for any fiscal year not exceeding $500,000,000. The amount appropriated shall be available until expended. The Secretary shall distribute the funds available for financial assistance among the several States in accordance with their conservation needs, as determined by the Secretary.
The Secretary of Agriculture shall not enter into an agreement in the States of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota to provide financial or technical assistance for wetland drainage on a farm under authority of this chapter, if the Secretary of the Interior has made a finding that wildlife preservation will be materially harmed on that farm by such drainage and that preservation of such land in its undrained status will materially contribute to wildlife preservation and such finding, identifying specifically the farm and the land on that farm with respect to which the finding was made, has been filed with the Secretary of Agriculture within ninety days after the filing of the application for drainage assistance: Provided, That the limitation against furnishing such financial or technical assistance shall terminate (1) at such time as the Secretary of the Interior notifies the Secretary of Agriculture that such limitation should not be applicable, (2) one year after the date on which the adverse finding of the Secretary of the Interior was filed unless during that time an offer has been made by the Secretary of the Interior or a State government agency to lease or to purchase the wetland area from the owner thereof as a waterfowl resource, or (3) five years after the date on which such adverse finding was filed if such an offer to lease or to purchase such wetland area has not been accepted by the owner thereof: Provided further, That upon any change in the ownership of the land with respect to which such adverse finding was filed, the eligibility of such land for such financial or technical assistance shall be redetermined in accordance with the provisions of this section.
The Soil Conservation Service subject to applicable regulations under chapters 1 to 11 of title 40 and division C (except sections 3302, 3306(f), 3307(e), 3501(b), 3509, 3906, 4104, 4710, and 4711) of subtitle I of title 41 may sell and distribute supplies, materials, and equipment to other Government activities, the cost of such supplies and materials or the value of such equipment (including the cost of transportation and handling) to be reimbursed to appropriations current at the time additional supplies, materials, or equipment are procured from the appropriations chargeable with the cost or value of such supplies, materials, or equipment.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary may provide for the reduction or cancellation of any allotment or base when the owner of the farm states in writing that he has no further use of such allotment or base.
The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to formulate and carry out a program with owners and operators of land in the Great Plains area as described in section 590p(b) 1
To effectuate the purposes of the program, the Secretary may enter into an agreement for a two-year period with an owner or operator as described in subsection (a) whereby the owner or operator shall agree to devote to a soil conserving cover crop a specifically designated acreage of cropland on the farm up to 50 per centum of the acreage which had been planted to any soil depleting crop or crops in any of the two years preceding the date of the agreement. The agreement shall be renewable for annual periods thereafter subject to the mutual agreement of the owner or operator and the Secretary. In such agreement, the owner or operator shall agree (1) to plant a legume, or if not adapted to such area, an annual, biennial, or a perennial cover crop, as specified in the agreement; (2) to divert from production such portion of one or more crops designated by the Secretary as the Secretary determines necessary to effectuate the purpose of the program; (3) not to harvest any crop from or graze the designated acreage during the agreement period, unless the Secretary determines that it is necessary to permit grazing or harvesting in order to alleviate damage, hardship, or suffering caused by severe drought, flood, or other natural disaster, and consents to such grazing or harvesting subject to an appropriate reduction in the rate of payment; (4) to give adequate assurance, as specified by the Secretary, that the land was not acquired for the purpose of placing it in the program: Provided, That the foregoing provision shall not prohibit the continuation of an agreement by a new owner if an agreement has once been entered into under this section nor prevent an owner or operator from placing a farm in the program if the farm was acquired by the owner to replace an eligible farm from which he was displaced because of its acquisition by any Federal, State, or other agency having the right of eminent domain; (5) to forfeit all rights to further payments under the agreement and refund to the United States all payments received thereunder upon his violation of the agreement at any stage during the time he has control of the land if the Secretary determines that such violation is of such a nature as to warrant termination of the agreement, or to make refunds or accept such payment adjustments as the Secretary may deem appropriate if the Secretary determines that the violation by the owner or operator does not warrant termination of the agreement; (6) upon transfer of his right and interest in the farm, during the agreement period, to forfeit all rights to further payments under the agreement and refund to the United States all payments received thereunder unless the transferee of any such land agrees with the Secretary to assume all obligations of the agreement; (7) not to adopt any practice specified by the Secretary in the agreement as a practice which would tend to defeat the purposes of the agreement; and (8) to such additional provisions as the Secretary determines are desirable to effectuate the purposes of the program or to facilitate the practical administration of the program, including such measures as the Secretary may deem appropriate to keep the designated acreage from eroding and free from weeds and rodents in accordance with good conservation systems.
In consideration for such agreement, the Secretary shall make annual adjustment payments to the owner or operator for the period of the agreement at such rate or rates not in excess of $30 per acre as the Secretary determines to be fair and reasonable. The Secretary may use an advertising and bid procedure in determining the lands in any area to be covered by agreements and the payment rate therefor. The Secretary and the owner or operator may agree that the annual adjustment payments for the agreement period shall be made either upon approval of the agreement or in such installments as they may agree to be desirable: Provided, That for each year any annual adjustment payment is made in advance of performance, the annual adjustment payment shall be reduced by 5 per centum.
The Secretary may terminate any agreement under the program, by mutual agreement with the owner or operator, if the Secretary determines that such termination would be in the public interest, and may agree with the owner or operator to such modification of agreements as the Secretary may determine to be desirable to carry out the purposes of the program or facilitate its administration.
The Secretary may, to the extent the Secretary deems it desirable, provide by appropriate regulations for preservation of cropland, crop acreage, and allotment history applicable to acreage diverted from the production of crops to establish vegetative cover for the purpose of any Federal program under which such history is used as a basis for an allotment or other limitation or for participation in such program.
In carrying out the program, the Secretary shall utilize the services of local, county, and State committees established under section 590h of this title and the technical services of the Soil Conservation Service and soil and water conservation districts.
In case any producer who is entitled to any payment under the program dies, becomes incompetent, or disappears before receiving such payment, or is succeeded by another who renders or completes the required performance, the payment shall, without regard to any other provisions of law, be made as the Secretary may determine to be fair and reasonable.
The Secretary shall provide adequate safeguards to protect the interests of tenants and sharecroppers, including provision for sharing, on a fair and equitable basis, in payments under the program.
The Secretary shall prescribe such regulations as the Secretary determines necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.
There are authorized to be appropriated for the period beginning October 1, 1977, and ending September 30, 1981, such sums as may be necessary to carry out the program provided for in this section. The Secretary is authorized to utilize the facilities, services, and authorities of the Commodity Credit Corporation in discharging the Secretary’s functions and responsibilities under the program, including payment of costs of administration: Provided, That the Commodity Credit Corporation shall not make any expenditures for such purposes unless the Corporation has received funds to cover such expenditures from appropriations made to carry out this section.