WASHINGTON — A sign-up for the Conservation Security Program will be available starting April 18 to approximately 64,000 potentially eligible farms and ranches in 51 watersheds covering more than 23.7 million acres.
The Conservation Security Program sign-up is open in the 51 watersheds from April 18 to May 16.
The program is a voluntary conservation program that supports ongoing stewardship of private, agricultural working lands and rewards those producers who are meeting the highest standards of conservation and environmental management on their operations.
Payments can include three components:
- An annual stewardship component for the base level of conservation treatment;
- An annual component for maintenance of existing conservation practices; and
- An enhancement component for exceptional conservation effort.
Enhancement activities could include limited pesticide applications, renewable energy generation and widening existing riparian forest buffers for restoring critical stream habitat.
To apply for the program, Natural Resources Conservation Service asks potential participants to complete a self-assessment workbook — available on the Web or from local Natural Resources Conservation Service offices — to find out if their operation meets the requirements of the program and qualifies for program participation.
When this process is completed, the producer submits the workbook to the local Natural Resources Conservation Service office during the sign-up period and meets with personnel to go over any additional needed documentation.
The service will then determine if eligibility requirements are met.
The Conservation Security Program is offered on a rotational basis in as many watersheds as funding allows.
Additional information is available from the USDA.
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