The Center for Rural Affairs has released a series of resource guides that aims to help farmers and ranchers new to implementing conservation practices like cover crops. The resources provide details on two of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s flagship working lands conservation programs: the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).
Written in both English and Spanish, these resources cover topics such as:
- What to Know About Working with your USDA Service Center
- What to know about Eligibility and Enrollment for CSP
- What to Know About EQIP Application Rankings and Advance Payment Option
For many producers, conservation is an important tool in keeping their farm or ranch resilient for years to come. Oftentimes, producers receive support for implementing conservation practices is through programs offered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. And that’s where the Center for Rural Affairs says it is hoping to help farmers.
Both CSP and EQIP offer financial and technical assistance to producers who want to improve their natural resources, including soil, water, and wildlife habitat, without taking land out of production.
“This new resource addresses some of the common questions we’ve received from years of connecting with farmers and ranchers, such as ‘Can I participate in federal cost-share programs if I rent the land I farm?’ to ‘How do payments and taxes work for these programs?’” said Kalee Olson, a policy associate at the center.
“One of the most important things a farmer or rancher can do is develop a good relationship with their local NRCS and Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices,” Olson said. “We hope farmers and ranchers will use these resources as a template for starting that partnership.”
The resource guides can be downloaded here.