The 2018 Farm Bill was enacted back in December, and the legislation continues its strong support for conservation efforts of America’s farmers and ranchers through reauthorization and expanded flexibility of Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) conservation programs.
NRCS in Georgia wants to remind producers they offer financial and technical assistance through conservation practices, activities and enhancements to help make and maintain improvements on the land. Producers with active contracts under the 2014 Farm Bill may continue completing practices as scheduled; sign-up information for the Farm Bill 2018 will be announced as it becomes available.
There are various programs available that can benefit operations across the state. These include:
The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits such as improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, increased soil health and reduced soil erosion and sedimentation, and improved or created wildlife habitat.
The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) helps agricultural producers maintain and improve their existing conservation systems and adopt additional conservation activities to address priority resources concerns. Participants earn CSP payments for conservation performance—the higher the performance, the higher the payment.
The Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) helps landowners, land trusts, and other entities protect, restore, and enhance wetlands, grasslands, and working farms and ranches through conservation easements.
The Healthy Forests Reserve Program (HFRP) helps landowners restore, enhance and protect forestland resources on private and tribal lands through easements and financial assistance. Through HRFP, landowners promote the recovery of endangered or threatened species, improve plant and animal biodiversity and enhance carbon sequestration.
The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) promotes coordination between NRCS and its partners to deliver conservation assistance to producers and landowners. NRCS provides assistance to producers through partnership agreements and RCPP conservation program contracts.
Learn more at your local NRCS office.