The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Friday it would allow producers to extend or modify contracts on nearly 40 percent of the acres expiring in the Conservation Reserve Program during 2009, writes Reuters.

USDA said about 1.5 million acres out of a total 3.9 million acres could be extended under contracts scheduled to expire on Sept. 30. The extension is voluntary and farmers can sign-up between May 18 and June 30.

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