All of these programs are administered by The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). NRCS is the agency in the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that administers the conservation programs. Founded in 1935 as the Soil Conservation Service it became NRCS in 1994.
NRCS has offices in all 50 states and local offices located in the county USDA Service Center. Each state has a Technical Committee, convened by the State Conservationist, to solicit recommendations. On a wide range of issues associated with the conservation programs.
The Technical Committee meetings are open to the public and membership is available to growers and grower groups.
The Conservation Security Program (CSP) is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance for the conservation, protection, and improvement of soil, water, and related resources on private lands. The program differs from EQIP in that it establishes three levels of participation with corresponding increases in the extent of the practices used and amount of payments. Contracts under CSP can be up to ten years. Each year watersheds are selected by NRCS in which growers are eligible to sign up for participation in CSP. This program is becoming increasingly important due to the long term impact it can offer. For further information see http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp/
The Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) provides cost share assistance to agricultural producers to voluntarily address issues such as water management, water quality, and erosion control by incorporating conservation into their farming operations. Authorized by the Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000, AMA is available in 15 states where participation ithe Federal Crop Insurance Program is historically low: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. For further information see: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ama/
The Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) is a voluntary program that encourages creation of high quality wildlife habitats that support wildlife populations of National, State, Tribal, and local significance. Through WHIP, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides technical and financial assistance to landowners and others to develop upland, wetland, riparian, and aquatic habitat areas on their property. For further information see: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/whip/index.html
The Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) is a voluntary program that provides technical and financial assistance to eligible landowners to restore, enhance, and protect wetlands. Landowners have the option of enrolling eligible lands through permanent easements, 30-year easements, or restoration cost-share agreements. The program is offered on a continuous sign-up basis and is available Nationwide. This program offers landowners an opportunity to establish, at minimal cost, long-term conservation and wildlife habitat enhancement practices and protection. For further information see: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/wrp/
The Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) is a voluntary program that helps farmers and ranchers keep their land in agriculture and prevents conversion of agricultural land to non-agricultural uses. The program provides matching funds to State, Tribal, and local governments and nongovernmental organizations with existing farmland protection programs to purchase conservation easements. For further information see: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/frpp/
The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) provides assistance to farmers and ranchers in complying with Federal, State, and tribal environmental laws, and encourages environmental enhancement. CRP is administered by the Farm Service Agency, with NRCS providing technical assistance and conservation planning. For further information see: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/crp.