USDA Readies $257 MIllion In CSP Contract Payments
Agriculture Department Acting Secretary Chuck Conner today announced that nearly $257 million in Conservation Security Program (CSP) payments are being readied for all 19,393 contracts with eligible landowners and producers.
“USDA is pleased to recognize good stewardship practices and offer incentives to increase conserving uses through the Conservation Security Program, and we have proposed to do more, if Congress agrees,” said Conner. “Our farm bill proposal has offered Congress a means to expand CSP enrollment to more than 96 million acres over the next ten years, rather than its current limit to selected watersheds.”
The payments announced today are for current contracts in all 280 CSP watersheds. CSP contract holders will receive payment in full for the current Fiscal Year 2008 contract obligations and will be given the option of receiving their payment in calendar year 2007 or 2008. CSP program participants should contact their local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office so their payments can be processed.
In preparation for the 2007 Farm Bill, USDA submitted a proposal that calls for substantial reform and improvement of the Conservation Security Program with a goal of conducting nationwide signups. Currently CSP is offered on a rotating watershed basis as funds are available.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service anticipates the next CSP signup to take place in early 2008 in the 51 eligible watersheds announced in September 2006. These watersheds include more than 64,500 potentially eligible farms and ranches in nearly 24 million acres of cropland and grazing land throughout the United States, the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean Area.
CSP is a voluntary program established as part of the 2002 Farm Bill to support ongoing conservation stewardship on private agricultural working lands and enhance the condition of the nation’s natural resources.
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