Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Nov. 5, announced that U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin issuing Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP 08) and Conservation Security Program (CSP 02) payments this month to thousands of farmers and ranchers in all fifty states to help maintain and improve the natural resources on their land. The yearly contract payments totaling $500 million are authorized under the 2002 and 2008 Farm Bills. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) administers both programs.
“Kansas producers have always put an emphasis on conserving their natural resources,” said Eric B. Banks, NRCS State Conservationist, Salina. “And, Kansas producers, according to the 2010 contract payments, remain dedicated to implementing conservation practices. Kansas was in the top five states for payments along with Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and North Dakota.”
In Kansas under the CSP 02, 523 contracts will receive payments of $6,496,273 and under the CSP 08, 872 contracts will receive payments of over $18 million for 1,216,415 acres signed into the contracts.
“Presently, eligible producers may signup for Conservation Stewardship Program until the next cutoff date of January 7, 2011, when applications will be ranked with Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 funding,” said Banks. “Contact your local NRCS office about the signing up.”
“By taking steps to enhance the quality of their land, farmers and ranchers are helping to preserve their land and their way of life for generations to come,” Vilsack said. “These landowners should be commended for their commitment to environmental stewardship.”
A total of $320 million in payments is associated with 20,500 new CSP 08 contracts initiated in FY 2010. In addition to the CSP 08 payments, a total of $180 million in payments will also be issued to honor the 15,000 older CSP 02 contracts for payments due in FY 2011. The majority of farmers and ranchers will receive their payments by mid-December.
The 2008 Farm Bill replaced the CSP 02 with the CSP 08. The new CSP 08 is offered in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Pacific and Caribbean areas through a continuous sign-up.
The CSP 08 is a voluntary program that encourages agricultural and forestry producers to address resource concerns by undertaking additional conservation activities and improving and maintaining existing conservation systems. Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, rangeland, and non-industrial forestland. More than 25 million acres have been enrolled in this innovative program that links conservation payments to environmental performance. The NRCS is accepting new applications from interested farmers, ranchers, and non-industrial private forest landowners.
The USDA’s NRCS provides technical assistance to landowners. For a state-by-state breakdown of the CSP 08 payments, go to: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/new_csp/2010contractsdollars.html
For a state-by-state breakdown of the CSP 02 payments, go to: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp/2011contractsdollars.html
For a Kansas county-by county breakdown of 2010 CSP 08 payments, go to http://www.ks.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp and click on the 2010 accomplishment map.
2010 represents the 75th year of NRCS “helping people help the land.” Since its inception in 1935, NRCS has advanced a unique partnership with state and local governments and private landowners delivering conservation based on specific, local conservation needs, while accommodating state and national interests.
For more information, contact your local USDA Service Center and visit with your NRCS or conservation district staff or visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp/.