USDA streamlines conservation programs

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WASHINGTON – USDA has streamlined and simplified the administrative concurrence processes for the Conservation Reserve Program and Environmental Quality Incentives Program, each of which benefits humans, wildlife and the environment overall.

Cutting red tape. “We are trying to cut the red tape to get the job done and enable producers to participate in our conservation programs in a timely manner,” said Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service, which administer CRP and EQIP respectively, worked together to streamline concurrence and will soon be issuing administrative guidance.

The streamlined concurrence processes, which will save valuable time at the county level and reduce duplicative efforts, allow the agencies the flexibility to proceed without the formal approval of the other agency.

Saves time. This removes a time-consuming step in the implementation process and will allow the agencies to operate more efficiently.

This is important, considering both agencies are now aggressively working to implement the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (2002 Act), which includes a number of new programs and benefits under the Conservation Title.

The 2002 Act, signed into law May 13, provides more than $17 billion in funding for conservation. In addition, it increases the acreage that can be enrolled in CRP from 36.4 million to 39.2 million acres and increases EQIP funding to $6.1 billion.

Learn more. Additional information is available on the USDA Web site at www.usda.gov/farmbill.

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