These programs provide environmental, societal, financial, and technical benefits that include both on- and off-site benefits. Program benefits include, but are not limited to, many of the following aspects:
Sustaining and improving agricultural productivity.
Cleaner, safer, and more dependable water supplies.
Reduced damages caused by floods and other natural disasters.
Enhanced natural resource bases that support continuing economic development, recreation, and other purposes.
Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
This is a voluntary program that encourages agricultural and forestry producers to maintain existing conservation activities and adopt additional ones on their operations.
Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI)
A voluntary program that enables the use of certain conservation programs to provide financial and technical assistance to owners and operators of agricultural and nonindustrial private forest lands.
Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP)
This program promotes the protection and restoration of wetlands through the purchase of easements and enhancement activities.
Grassland Reserve Program (GRP)
This program provides funding to restore and protect pasturelands and certain other lands while maintaining the areas in grass.
Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP)
This program, set up by Congress to respond to emergencies created by natural disasters, is designed to relieve imminent hazards to life and property caused by floods, fire, windstorms, and other natural occurrences.
Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention
The Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Act (PL 83-566) authorizes NRCS to cooperate with states and local agencies to carry out works of improvement for soil conservation and for other purposes including flood prevention; conservation, development, utilization and disposal of water; and conservation and proper utilization of land.
The 2008 Farm Bill provides that individuals and legal entities with average Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) in excess of a specified average AGI limitation are ineligible for payments subject to that limitation. USDA has worked with the IRS to develop an electronic information exchange process strictly for the purpose of average AGI verification. The IRS requires written consent from the individual or legal entity to provide USDA verification of the average AGI for that individual or legal entity. This written consent is now provided in Adjusted Gross Income Form (CCC933). The CCC933 includes both the Self-Certification of Compliance with AGI guidelines and authority to request verification of the same from the IRS This form MUST be filed with the Farm Service Agency as part of the application process.