Conservation Security Program will use watershed approach for funding

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WASHINGTON – USDA will use watersheds as a basis to determine Conservation Security Program participation.

Details of the enrollment categories that will be used in the fiscal year 2004 Conservation Security Program were announced May 4.

Signup is scheduled to be held this summer.

$41 million to spend. Using the $41 million budget for the program in fiscal year 2004, the Natural Resources Conservation Service NRCS should be able to write 3,000 to 5,000 contracts.

Administratively, the law requires that NRCS not incur more than 15 percent technical assistance costs associated with the program.

All program applications that meet the signup criteria will be placed in an enrollment category regardless of available funding.

Sorted and ranked. In addition to legal contract requirements, the categories will consider the applicants’ current stewardship (soil condition, tillage intensity, existing practices and activities) and will sort producers based on these factors.

Categories also will examine producers’ willingness to perform additional conservation activities during their program contract.

Additional information on the Conservation Security Program is at www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp or from your local USDA service center.

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