7 U.S. Code §7211. Authorization for use of production flexibility contracts

Section Text

(a) Offer and terms

The Secretary shall offer to enter into a production flexibility contract with an eligible owner or producer described in subsection (b) on a farm containing eligible cropland. Under the terms of a contract, the owner or producer shall agree, in exchange for annual contract payments, to—

(1) comply with applicable conservation requirements under subtitle B of title XII of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3811 et seq.);

(2) comply with applicable wetland protection requirements under subtitle C of title XII of the Act (16 U.S.C. 3821 et seq.);

(3) comply with the planting flexibility requirements of section 7218 of this title; and

(4) use the land subject to the contract for an agricultural or related activity, but not for a nonagricultural commercial or industrial use, as determined by the Secretary.

(b) Eligible owners and producers described

The following producers and owners shall be eligible to enter into a contract:

(1) An owner of eligible cropland who assumes all or a part of the risk of producing a crop.

(2) A producer (other than an owner) on eligible cropland with a share-rent lease of the eligible cropland, regardless of the length of the lease, if the owner enters into the same contract.

(3) A producer (other than an owner) on eligible cropland who cash rents the eligible cropland under a lease expiring on or after September 30, 2002, in which case the owner is not required to enter into the contract.

(4) A producer (other than an owner) on eligible cropland who cash rents the eligible cropland under a lease expiring before September 30, 2002. The owner of the eligible cropland may also enter into the same contract. If the producer elects to enroll less than 100 percent of the eligible cropland in the contract, the consent of the owner is required.

(5) An owner of eligible cropland who cash rents the eligible cropland and the lease term expires before September 30, 2002, if the tenant declines to enter into a contract. In the case of an owner covered by this paragraph, contract payments shall not begin under a contract until the lease held by the tenant ends.

(6) An owner or producer described in any preceding paragraph regardless of whether the owner or producer purchased catastrophic risk protection for a 1996 crop under section 1508(b) of this title.

(c) Tenants and sharecroppers

In carrying out this subchapter, the Secretary shall provide adequate safeguards to protect the interests of tenants and sharecroppers.

(d) Eligible cropland described

Land shall be considered to be cropland eligible for coverage under a contract only if the land has contract acreage attributable to the land and—

(1) for at least 1 of the 1991 through 1995 crops, at least a portion of the land was enrolled in the acreage reduction program authorized for a crop of a contract commodity under section 101B, 103B, 105B, or 107B of the Agricultural Act of 1949 or was considered planted;

(2) was subject to a conservation reserve contract under section 1231 of the Food Security Act of 1985 (16 U.S.C. 3831) whose term expired, or was voluntarily terminated, on or after January 1, 1995; or

(3) is released from coverage under a conservation reserve contract by the Secretary during the period beginning on January 1, 1995, and ending on the date specified in section 7212(a)(2) of this title.

(e) Quantity of eligible cropland covered by contract

Subject to subsection (b)(4), an owner or producer may enroll as contract acreage all or a portion of the eligible cropland on the farm.

(f) Voluntary reduction in contract acreage

Subject to subsection (b)(4), an owner or producer who enters into a contract may subsequently reduce the quantity of contract acreage covered by the contract.

Editorial Notes

REFERENCES IN TEXT The Food Security Act of 1985, referred to in subsec. (a)(1), (2), is Pub. L. 99–198, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1354, as amended. Subtitles B and C of title XII of the Act are classified generally to subchapters II (§3811 et seq.) and III (§3821 et seq.), respectively, of chapter 58 of Title 16, Conservation. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title of 1985 Amendment note set out under section 1281 of this title and Tables. This subchapter, referred to in subsec. (c), was in the original "this subtitle", meaning subtitle B (§§111–118) of title I of Pub. L. 104–127, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 898, which enacted this subchapter and amended sections 1308, 1308–1, and 1308–3 of this title. For complete classification of subtitle B to the Code, see Tables. Sections 101B, 103B, 105B, and 107B of the Agricultural Act of 1949, referred to in subsec. (d)(1), were classified to sections 1441–2, 1444–2, 1444f, and 1445b–3a, respectively, of this title prior to repeal by section 7301(b)(2)(A)–(D) of this title.VIOLATION OF CONTRACT; DENIAL OF FUNDS FOR SALARIES Pub. L. 104–180, title VII, §726, Aug. 6, 1996, 110 Stat. 1600, provided that: "None of the funds made available in this Act [see Tables for classification] may be used to pay the salaries of employees of the Department of Agriculture who make payments pursuant to a production flexibility contract entered into under section 111 of the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (Public Law 104–127; 7 U.S.C. 7211) when it is made known to the Federal official having authority to obligate or expend such funds that the land covered by that production flexibility contract is not being used for the production of an agricultural commodity or is not devoted to a conserving use, unless it is also made known to that Federal official that the lack of agricultural production or the lack of a conserving use is a consequence of drought, flood, or other natural disaster."


7 U.S.C. § 7211 (2018)