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News Release

500 Wisconsin Farmers Enroll in Conservation Stewardship Program

Contact: Tom Krapf, 608-662-4422 x 232
See CSP Featured Farmers programs/csp/cstp.html

2010 Payments Top $3.3 million

Madison, Wis–– Over 500 Wisconsin farmers and landowners enrolled in the new Conservation Stewardship Program during the first sign-up in 2010. These contracts will yield more than $3.36 million in payments this year. Four hundred of these were farmers enrolling cropland and pasture, and 113 enrolled woodlands, a new option this year.

“We are really pleased with the response from Wisconsin farmers to this new program,” said Pat Leavenworth, State Conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Wisconsin. “For many, CSP offers reward and recognition for the conservation they are already doing, plus a little extra incentive to try a few more or new practices.”

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, is the successor to the Conservation Security Program. This is the first time conservation contracts are being awarded under the new version of the voluntary program that offers payments to producers who exercise good land stewardship and agree to further improve their conservation performance. The new CSP is available to all producers regardless of operation type, crops produced, or geographic location.
Total acres enrolled in Wisconsin are 141,000 acres of cropland, 10,800 acres of pastureland, and 19,300 acres of woodland (non-industrial private forestland).

For this first signup, average payments in Wisconsin were $22.20 per acre for cropland, $13.24 per acre for pasture, and $5.56 per acre for woodland. Payments are made annually for each of the five years of the contract. This year, Wisconsin farmers will receive at total of $3.36 million in payments and $16.8 million over the full five years.

CSP is open to small and large operations, with farm size ranging from 4 acres to 3100 acres in this sign-up.

Robert Moeller is a dairy and grain farmer in Black Creek who signed on for two additional conservation practices with CSP this spring. He was planning to do some conservation work already, and saw CSP as a great opportunity.
“Our objective is always to be good stewards of the land, and CSP gives us an extra push in doing so,” says Robert. He currently practices minimum tillage on all of his cropland, and has had a nutrient management plan for the past four years.

The second signup period for CSP has just closed and enrollment results will be available in a few weeks. However, landowners can sign up at any time at NRCS Offices in USDA Service Center statewide. The next cutoff date for applications is expected to be sometime in early winter.

Nationwide, there were 10,630 CSP contracts with $144,968,683 obligated. Altogether, 12.6 million acres were enrolled, just 80,063 acres short of the national acreage enrollment goal of 12,769,000. About 9 percent of this acreage was non-industrial private forestland.
For more information, visit , or contact the NRCS office at the USDA Service Center serving your county.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice or TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.