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Wisconsin Farmers Enroll in CSP Program
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 01/08/2015

Over 500 Wisconsin farmers and forest landowners have successfully re-enrolled in the Conservation Stewardship Program for another five year period. The program provides opportunities for farmers who are already established conservation stewards, helping them improve water quality, soil health and wildlife habitat.

"Wisconsin farmers are conservation leaders and go the extra mile to conserve our nation's resources," said State Conservationist Jimmy Bramblett. "The strong interest in farmers re-enrolling in the program for another five years comes as no surprise as these were the first participants to enroll in the program back in 2010."

For many farmers, 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 average annual payment for reenrollment in the program was $8,500 per contract. Over $4.7 million in payments will be made to those farm families later this year, and over $23 million over the course of their five-year contracts.

Meanwhile, Bramblett says farmers interested in getting started with CSP may apply now for contracts beginning in 2015. Applications will be accepted at the NRCS office in USDA Service Centers throughout Wisconsin.

CSP was reauthorized in the 2014 farm bill, and is a voluntary program that offers payments to producers who exercise good land stewardship and agree to further improve their conservation performance. CSP is available to all producers regardless of operation size, type, crops produced, or geographic location.

Total crop and pasture land acres enrolled in Wisconsin to date is 827,000 plus 83,000 acres of woodland in 2,300 contracts. Average payments in Wisconsin are $21 per acre for cropland, $14 per acre for pasture, and $4 per acre for woodland. Payments are made annually for each of the five years of the contract. CSP is open to small and large operations, with farms already enrolled ranging from just a couple of acres to over 4,000 acres of cropland.

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