Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has begun distributing Conservation Reserve Program annual rental payments to participants across the country. The USDA also has begun distributing 2013 direct payments and 2012 Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program payments. Payments originally were scheduled to be issued earlier in the month, but were delayed by several weeks due to the lapse in federal funding. . . .