Title I of the 1996 Act allowed farmers who participated in the wheat, feed grain, cotton, and rice programs in any one of the previous 5 years to enter into 7-year production flexibility contracts for 1996-2002 and receive payments based on the enrolled acreage. Total production flexibility contract payment levels for each fiscal year were fixed. The AMTA allowed farmers to plant 100 percent of their total contract acreage to any crop, except for limitations on fruits and vegetables, and receive a full payment. Land had to be maintained in agricultural uses, including idling or conserving uses. Unlimited haying and grazing were allowed, as was the planting and harvesting of alfalfa and other forage corps—with no reduction in payments.  Production flexibility contract payments, also referred to as AMTA payments, were replaced with direct payments in the 2002 Farm Bill and the payment rates were fixed.

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