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State Farmers Enroll in Conservation Stewardship Program
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 07/07/2011

Nearly 600 Wisconsin farmers and forest landowners have successfully enrolled in the Conservation Stewardship Program for 2011. According to State Conservationist Pat Leavenworth, this is the second year that this program has been open throughout Wisconsin.

"This great response from Wisconsin farmers comes as no surprise," Leavenworth said. "Wisconsin has a strong conservation ethic and a long history of conservation, beginning in the 1930s. We are especially pleased that 42 beginning farmers enrolled."

This year, 590 farmers and forestland owners enrolled in CSP, with an average payment of $7,244 per contract. Over $4.2 million in payments will be made to those farm families this year, and over $20 million over the course of the five-year contract.

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 Conservation Stewardship Program, authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, 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 type, crops produced, or geographic location.

Total crop and pasture land acres enrolled in Wisconsin to date is 524,284, plus 86,330 acres of woodland in over 1500 contracts.

Average payments in Wisconsin were $20 per acre for cropland, $18 per acre for pasture, and $4.58 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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