Farm Bill News

Center offers recommendations to further improve Environmental Quality Incentives Program

The Center for Rural Affairs has seen the valuable impact that strong working lands conservation programs can have for farmers and ranchers, and appreciates this opportunity to comment on the Interim Final Rule for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. We ask NRCS to make the following changes to EQIP:

President’s budget proposals would hurt rural America

Details on President Trump’s 2021 budget plan were released recently and, as it has in the past, this administration continues to put forth proposals that undercut rural communities.

Among the proposed cuts we strongly oppose are those to the Conservation Stewardship Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and authorized by the farm bill. This program offers invaluable support for farmers and ranchers to build on their existing conservation efforts and the cuts would block an important path they rely on to improve their soil health and water quality.

Conservation enrollment open

For farmers and ranchers interested in expanding conservation on their operations, two of the nation’s largest working lands programs—the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)—are open for applications. 

CSP and EQIP offer financial assistance to implement conservation practices, with EQIP offering support for individual practices and CSP providing support for a planned set of practices. CSP participants are required to demonstrate existing conservation efforts to enroll, while EQIP participants are not.

Farm bill comments needed

At the Center for Rural Affairs, we are deeply engaged on the farm bill because of the enormous impact it has on rural communities. This is particularly true for conservation programs. Even though Congress passed a farm bill last year, there is still work to do in submitting comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Input needed on Conservation Stewardship Program farm bill updates

On Nov. 12, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced changes to the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), the nation’s largest conservation program. A public comment period is now underway, and we encourage you to submit a comment on the changes, especially if you have held or applied for a CSP contract.

The comment period is an extremely important time for farmers’ and ranchers' voices to be heard, as USDA is required to read and address each comment they receive.

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