So, here are some of the "facts":
- The CSP used to be called the Conservation Security Program ... the name change is probably to make us feel good (I am just kidding).
- It is a program for farmers that are using or interested in using conservation practices on land that they are currently farming for row crops or pasture ... unlike the Conservation Reserve Program.
- It seems the new and improved version of the CSP is open to all farmers, not just those in certain watersheds as with the previous version. I would think this is a good thing for farmers out there that are actively farming and working on conservation at the same time.
- Whether or not you receive a CSP contract (5 year contracts) will depend on how many acres are enrolled and what conservation practices the farm is using and whether or not they are willing to do more. I'm still not totally clear on what kind of conservation practices they are talking about, but I'm sure that is because I just don't know enough about the program (old or new).
- The amount of the CSP payment will take into account three factors. 1) What are the environmental benefits. 2) What costs does the farmer have because of the measures. 3) Will there be some income lost by the farmer.
- You will be happy to know that the payments have been capped at $40,000 per year (per farm) instead of the "virtually unlimited payments" of other programs. (I'm being a little tongue-in-check here, but they did say those "virtually unlimited payments" can go to millionaires and corporations)