Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New CRS Report: "Agricultural Conservation: A Guide to Programs"

On November 30, the Congressional Research Service published a new guide to to Agricultural Conservation Programs managed by the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) (download or view the Guide as a PDF file here).  Entitled "Agricultural Conservation: A Guide to Programs," the report provides an overview of 22 NRCS and FSA programs and subprograms that are available to assist producers and landowners who wish to practice conservation on agricultural lands.  The report offers a concise overview of the current regime of Farm Bill programs, and should prove to be a valuable resource over the upcoming months, as Congress discusses changes to and consolidation of many of those programs during its 2012 Farm Bill debates.

Following an overview of the available conservation programs, information on each program is presented in a tabular format in the report.  Each program table includes a brief program description; major program amendments included in the 2008 farm bill; national scope and availability; states with the greatest participation; backlog of program applications (or other measures of program interest); program funding authority; Fiscal Year 2011 and 2012 funding; statutory authority; program authorization expiration date; and a link to the program’s website.

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