USDA Boosts Cash to 2004 CSP Contracts

Producers who do more beyond the scope of original contracts are eligible for an added payment.

Published on: Jun 27, 2006

USDA's Natural Resource Conservation Service Chief Bruce Knight announced that farmers and ranchers who participated in the 2004 Conservation Security Program will get an additional $32 million in 2006 for conservation enhancements and practices they have added beyond the scope of their original contracts.

"CSP was designed to reward the best land stewards and encourage them to do even more," says Knight in a press statement. "Our 2004 participants have demonstrated their interest in completing additional practices, proving that voluntary, incentive-based programs on working lands do encourage landowners."

The $32 million will provide increases in contract payments for 2,163 contracts - 99% of the original 2,180 contracts from 204. The funds cover advancing to a higher CSP tier, adding enhancements for improvements in environmental performance above CSP minimums and, in some cases, boost eligible acreage.

Modifications of those contracts may includes activities including limiting pesticide applications, on-farm energy audits, shelterbelts for wildlife and air quality, and riparian forest buffers for restoring critical stream habitat.

When those initial contracts were developed in 2004, NRCS and the landowners worked together to develop a CSP Stewardship Plan. In many cases, stewardship plants specified enhancements or coverage of added acres in future years. Those plans may also allow advancement from one tier to another. Once a participant meets the basic practices for a tier, they can seek to modify their contracts to add more practices to advance to the next tier and receive more funds.

CSP payments can go as high as $20,000 per year for Tier I, $35,000 for Tier II and $45,000 for Tier III. Tier I contracts run up to 5 years; Tier II and Tier III contracts  last 5 to 10 years. Payments can include four components: 1) an annual stewardship component for the base level of conservation treatment, 2) an annual component for maintenance of existing conservation practices, 3) a one-time new practice component for additional needed practices, and 4) an enhancement component for exceptional conservation effort.

CSP Payments in FY 2004 compared to FY 2006

Tier

FY ‘04 Payment

Modified Payment

% Change

I

$3,378,779

$3,974,728

+18%

II

$9,928,790

$12,655,383

+27%

III

$6,538,101

$15,876,118

+143%

Total

$19,845,670

$32,506,229

+69%

 CSP Contracts, by Tier, in FY 2004 compared to FY 2006

Tier

Number of Contracts FY’04

Modified Contracts

% Change

I

785

567

-28%

II

886

854

-4%

III

509

742

+46%

 Funding for conservation practices in FY 2004 compared to FY 2006

Enhancement Type

FY '04 Payment

Modified Payment

% Change

Air Resources Management

$216,545

$357,929

+65%

Energy Management

$712,384

$982,841

+38%

Grazing Management

$344,716

$588,238

+71%

Habitat Management

$953,736

$2,615,238

+174%

Nutrient Management

$3,506,663

$6,087,636

+74%

Pest Management

$3,680,118

$6,800,680

+85%

Soil Management

$4,349,110

$5,536,186

+27%

Water Management

$319,508

$437,053

+37%

Total

$14,082,782

$23,405,801

+71%

 Learn more at www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp.