At the beginning of each fiscal year, the Secretary shall allow an eligible owner or producer on a farm covered by a conservation reserve contract entered into under section 3831 of title 16 that terminates after the date specified in paragraph (2) to enter into or expand a production flexibility contract to cover the contract acreage of the farm that was subject to the former conservation reserve contract.
Contract payments made for contract acreage under this paragraph shall be made at the rate and amount applicable to the annual contract payment level for the applicable crop. For the fiscal year in which the conservation reserve contract is terminated, the owner or producer subject to the production flexibility contract may elect to receive either contract payments or a prorated payment under the conservation reserve contract, but not both.
An annual contract payment shall be made not later than September 30 of each of fiscal years 1996 through 2002.
At the option of the owner or producer for fiscal year 1997 and each subsequent fiscal year, 50 percent of the annual contract payment shall be made on December 15 or January 15 of the fiscal year. The owner or producer may change the date selected under this subparagraph for a subsequent fiscal year by providing advance notice to the Secretary.
Notwithstanding the requirements for making an annual contract payment specified in paragraphs (1) and (2), at the option of the owner or producer, the Secretary shall pay the full amount (or such portion as the owner or producer may specify) of the contract payment required to be paid for any of fiscal years 1999 through 2002 at such time or times during that fiscal year as the owner or producer may specify.