USDA Texas Farm Service Agency (FSA) Acting Executive Director James B. Douglass announced that sign-up for the 2012 Direct and Counter-cyclical Program (DCP) and the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) Program starts January 23, 2012 and continues through June 1, 2012.

"I encourage producers to make an appointment with our office to sign-up for program benefits," said Douglass.

Eligible DCP participants receive a direct payment and/or a counter-cyclical payment. Direct payment rates are established by statute regardless of market prices. FSA reminds producers that the 2008 Farm Bill does not authorize advance direct payments. Counter-cyclical payments vary depending on market prices and are issued only when the effective price for a commodity is below its target price (which takes into account the direct payment rate, market price and loan rate).

ACRE protects producers from farm market revenue declines when revenue triggers are met for a commodity at both the state and farm level. Farms that are already enrolled in the Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program (DCP) for a crop year can elect to switch to ACRE before the end of signup.

Both DCP and ACRE participants must sign annual contracts to be eligible for program benefits. All signatures of producers who will receive a share of DCP and ACRE payments must be on file by the June 1, 2012 deadline.

For more information about DCP and ACRE, please contact your local FSA office or visit the web at: www.fsa.usda.gov/tx.