Reminder of Approaching Deadlines
Conservation Stewardship Program
January 13, 2012
Agricultural producers interested in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) should submit applications to their local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service office by January 13, 2012, to be considered during the first ranking period of 2012.
CSP is offered in all 50 states and the Pacific and Caribbean areas through continuous sign-ups. The program provides many conservation benefits including improvement of water and soil quality, wildlife habit enhancements, and adoption of conservation activities that address the effects of climate change. Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest land, and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe.
A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help potential applicants determine if CSP is suitable for their operation. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, contract obligations, and potential payments. It is available from local NRCS offices and on the CSP web page.
Wetlands Reserve Program
January 20, 2012
The first fiscal year 2012 application evaluation period for the Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) in Louisiana ends January 20, 2012. If you are interested in or have applied for WRP and you would like to ensure your application package is complete and will be considered in the first evaluation period, please contact your local NRCS office.
Applications are accepted on a continuous basis for the Wetlands Reserve Program. There may be additional opportunities for application funding throughout 2012. Applications received after January 20, 2012, will be considered in future evaluation periods, if any, or carried into fiscal year 2013 on October 1, 2012.
The Wetlands Reserve Program is a national program authorized by the Farm Bill to assist eligible landowners restore, create, protect, and enhance wetlands on their property. Participation in this program is voluntary, and restoration is accomplished in an environmentally safe, cost-effective manner. Easement payments are based on the lowest of either the fair market value of the land using an appraisal or area-wide analysis, the Geographic Area Rate Cap, or an offer made by the landowner.
For more information on the Conservation Stewardship Program, Wetlands Reserve Program, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Soil and Water Conservation Districts, contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office or Soil and Water Conservation District.
Originally established by Congress in 1935 as the
Soil Conservation Service (SCS), NRCS has expanded to become a conservation leader for all natural resources, ensuring private lands are conserved, restored, and more resilient to environmental challenges, like climate change.
Seventy percent of the land in the United States is privately owned, making stewardship by private landowners absolutely critical to the health of our Nation’s environment.
NRCS works with landowners through conservation planning and assistance designed to benefit the soil, water, air, plants, and animals that result in productive lands and healthy ecosystems.
Women and Hispanic Farmers and Ranchers Claims Adjudication Process
If you believe that USDA improperly denied farm loan benefits to you for certain time periods between 1981 and 2000 because you are a female or because you are Hispanic, you may be eligible to apply for compensation. To request a claims package by telephone, call 1-888-508-4429. To request a claims package online, please visit www.farmerclaims.gov
Native American Farmer and Rancher Class Action Settlement (Keepseagle v. Vilsack)
If you are a Native American who was denied a farm loan or loan servicing by the USDA between January 1, 1981, and November 24, 1999, you may be eligible for benefits from a Class Action Settlement. To request a claims package by telephone, call: 1-888-233-5506. To request a claims package online, or for more information, please visit: www.indianfarmclass.com
African American Farmer and Rancher Class Action Settlement (Pigford II)
If you are an African American farmer (a) who submitted a request to file a late claim on or between October 13, 1999, and June 18, 2008, under the 1999 USDA settlement in the earlier class action known as Pigford v. Glickman ("Pigford") and (b) who did not receive a merits determination on your discrimination claim, you may be eligible for benefits from a Class Action Settlement. To hear information by telephone, call 1-866-950-5547 or 1-866-472-7826. To find information online, please visit: www.blackfarmercase.com