Matrix Classification Country: United States



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Matrix Classification


  • Country: United States

  • Environmental Objective(s):Soil quality; Biodiversity; Landscape; Reduce Water Pollution; Reduce Air Pollution; Sinks; Other Sustainable Resource Practices

  • Type(s) of Measure: Payments Based On Fixed Assets; Payments Based On Land Retirement; Technical Assistance/Extension;





Policy



CONSERVATION RESERVE PROGRAM (CRP)

Agency



The Farm Service Agency (FSA) administers the Conservation Reserve Program in cooperation with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Cooperative State Research and Education Service, State Foresters and the local soil and water conservation districts.


Relevant Legislation


The CRP was established by the Food Security Act of 1985 (1985 Farm Act). It was extended by the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990 (1990 Farm Act), the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (1996 Farm Act) and the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (2002 Farm Bill).


Overall Objective


To encourage farmers to plant long-term resource-conserving covers – intended environmental gains include habitat and water quality improvements; soil erosion reduction and productivity gains; air quality improvements and carbon sequestration.


Delivery Mechanism


The CRP is a voluntary program that offers long term rental payments, cost share assistance and technical assistance to farmers to convert highly erodible cropland or other environmentally sensitive acreage to vegetative cover, such as tame or native grasses, wildlife plantings, trees, filterstrips, or riparian buffers.
The program provides farmers an annual rental per hectare payment on land placed in a permanent cover under a 10 15 year contract; half of the cost of establishing a permanent land cover; and funds technical assistance and extension to help farms to adopt the program. Land is selected based on the magnitude of the likely environmental gain relative to the rental payment.
Contracts are for a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 15 years.

Targets





When Applied


The CRP has been applied since 1985.

Coverage/Eligibility



A nation-wide, voluntary program.

Participation is limited to erosion prone agricultural land in designated conservation priority areas or other regions where establishment of a cover crop will potentially reduce watershed or wellshed contamination.

The USDA uses an ‘Environmental Benefits Index’ (EBI) to determine the acreage to accept in the CRP. USDA estimates an EBI score for proposed CRP contracts based on weighted values for environmental services likely to be derived, and ranks contracts by the EBI score.
The program is offered nation-wide. There is a maximum enrolment area of 15.9 million hectares.


Costs


Land retirement programs have dominated agricultural conservation expenditures since the mid-1980s, and the CRP is by far the most significant of these, accounting for some 96 percent of all spending on retirement programs. Since 1996, CRP rental payments have averaged $1.5 billion per year.
For budgetary figures over the period 1986-2001 see budgetary table ****


Participation/Results



The value of benefits from erosion reductions on acreage enrolled in the CRP, based on the National Resources Inventory (NRI) ####, is estimated to exceed $690 million per year.
Wildlife habitat improved by enrolling land in the CRP is estimated to provide over $700 million per year in benefits from enhanced hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities (Feather, Hellerstein, and Hansen, Economic Valuation of Environmental Benefits and the Targeting of Conservation Programs: The Case of the CRP, Economic Research Service, USDA; see www.ers.usda.gov/publications/aer778/).

In the prairie pothole region of North and South Dakota and Minnesota, the CRP contributed to a 30 percent improvement in duck production, or 10.5 million more ducks, between 1992 and 1997.

Http://agriculture.senate.gov/Hearings/Hearings_2001/February_28__2001/0228smi.htm


How Programme is Monitored/Evaluated


The National Resources Inventory (NRI) ####, which is compiled every five years, provides an indication of the benefits of the CRP in terms of soil erosion. The effectiveness of the CRP has also been evaluated by the Economic Research Service of USDA , as described under Participation/Results.


Sources/Further Information

Farm Service Agency fact sheets on line

Http://www.fsa.usda.gov/pas/publications/facts/html/crp02.htm

Economic Research Service analysis of the 2002 Farm Bill



Http://www.ers.usda.gov/Features/FarmBill/Titles/TitleIIConservation.htm




Matrix Classification


  • Country: United States

  • Environmental Objective(s): Biodiversity; Reduce Water Pollution;

  • Type(s) of Measure: Payments Based On Fixed Assets; Payments Based On Land Retirement; Technical Assistance/Extension





Policy



CONSERVATION RESERVE PROGRAM (CRP) WETLAND ENROLLMENT PILOT PROGRAM


Agency

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) in cooperation with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Cooperative State Research and Education Service, State Foresters and the local soil and water conservation districts.


Relevant Legislation


Initiated under the 2001 Agricultural Appropriation Act and extended under the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (2002 Farm Bill).


Overall Objective


To enable farm wetland to be enrolled under the CRP####.

Delivery Mechanism


Payments are to be commensurate with those provided to landowners who enroll filter strips in CRP ####.


Targets





When Applied





Coverage/Eligibility



A nation-wide, voluntary program.
There is an enrolment cap of 0.4 million hectares (part of overall CRP ####acreage cap). Enrolment is limited to 40,470 hectares in any one State.


Costs





Participation/Results



How Programme is Monitored/Evaluated





Source/Further Information


Economic Research Service analysis of the 2002 Farm Bill

http://www.ers.usda.gov/Features/FarmBill/Titles/TitleIIConservation.htm



Matrix Classification


  • Country: United States

  • Environmental Objective(s): Soil Quality; Water Resources; Biodiversity; Reduce Water Pollution

  • Type(s) of Measure: Payments Based On Land Retirement; Payments Based On Land Retirement; Technical Assistance/Extension





Policy



CONSERVATION RESERVE ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM (CREP)

Agency



Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)/States


Relevant Legislation


This program was initiated following the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (1996 Farm Act). It was created administratively using standing authority under the CRP program.


Overall Objective

To address specific State and nationally significant water quality, soil erosion, and wildlife habitat issues related to agriculture.



Delivery Mechanism


CREP offers additional financial incentives beyond the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) #### to encourage farmers and ranchers to enroll in 10-15 year contracts to retire land from production.


Targets





When Applied


Established in 1996.

Coverage/Eligibility

A nation-wide voluntary program.

Acres enrolled under CREP count toward the overall CRP ####acreage cap.




Costs





Participation/ Results





How Programme is Monitored/Evaluated




Source/Further Information

Economic Research Service analysis of the 2002 Farm Bill

http://www.ers.usda.gov/Features/FarmBill/Titles/TitleIIConservation.htm



Matrix Classification


  • Country: United States
  • Environmental Objective(s): Reduce Water Pollution


  • Type(s) of Measure: Community-Based Measures





Policy



WASTE AND WASTE FACILITIES PROGRAMS

Agency



Rural Utility Service (RUS): U.S. Department of Agriculture(USDA)


Relevant Legislation


1996 Farm Act

Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (2002 Farm Bill)




Overall Objective


To develop water and waste disposal (including solid waste disposal and storm drainage) systems in rural areas and towns.


Delivery Mechanism


RUS administers water and waste facility grants. Grants may be made for up to 75 percent of eligible project costs in some cases. RUS also guarantees water and waste disposal loans made by banks and other eligible lenders. These programs are available to public entities such as municipalities, counties, special-purpose districts, Indian tribes, and corporations not operated for profit.

A percentage of the Grant program is available each year to provide technical assistance for rural communities with a population of 10,000 or less. Grant funds may be used to assist communities and rural areas identify and evaluate solutions to water or wastewater problems; and improve facility operation and maintenance activities.

A new program of Search Grants is also authorized from 2002-2007 to assist very small communities (under 3,000 population) in preparing feasibility and environmental studies required to meet water and waste environmental standards. Eligibility requires that the communities demonstrate inability to obtain sufficient funding from traditional sources to complete legally mandated feasibility or environmental studies.


Targets





When Applied


Grants and Loans featured in the 1996 Farm Act, and were modified under the 2002 Farm Bill.


Coverage/Eligibility



See under Delivery Mechanism.


Costs


The $590 million limit on annual authorizations for grants, which was imposed under the 1996 Farm Act, was removed under the 2002 Farm Bill.
Under the 2002 Farm Bill, funding of $360 million is also authorized for a one-time reduction in the backlog of qualified, pending applications for grants and loans for water and waste disposal and emergency community water assistance.
Search Grants are authorized at $51 million per year over 2002-2007.

Participation/Results






How Programme is Monitored/Evaluated


Source/Further Information


Economic Research Service analysis of the 2002 Farm Bill

http://www.ers.usda.gov/features/farmbill/titles/titleviruraldevelopment.htm



Matrix Classification


  • Country: United States

  • Environmental Objective(s): Biodiversity; Reduce Water Pollution

  • Type(s) of Measure: Payments Based On Fixed Assets; Payments Based On Land Retirement; Technical Assistance/Extension





Policy



WETLANDS RESERVE PROGRAM (WRP)

Agency



The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and funded through the Commodity Credit Corporation.

Relevant Legislation


Mandated by Section 1237 of the Food Security Act of 1985 (P.L. 99-198), as amended by the Food, Agriculture, Conservation and Trade Act of 1990 (P.L. 104-624) and the Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-127). The WRP is reauthorized in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (2002 Farm Bill).

Overall Objective

To restore the functions and values of wetlands for migratory birds and other wildlife, improve water quality, aid flood water retention and ground water recharge, increase open space, and provide aesthetic values and environmental education opportunities.


Delivery Mechanism


The WRP authorizes the Federal government to purchase from landowners:



  • permanent wetland conservation easements;

  • 30-year wetland conservation easements; or

  • cost-share payments for wetlands rehabilitation practices.

Technical Assistance is also provided by the NRCS.



Targets





When Applied


From 1990.

Coverage/Eligibility



A nation-wide, voluntary program.
Projects and lands with the greatest wetland values are given the highest priority under the WRP. Generally, agricultural lands containing restorable wetlands are eligible for funding, although forested lands are only eligible for participation in WRP if they are not enrolled in CRP####.
The national maximum acreage cap for the WRP is 0.9 million hectares (2.3 million acres).

Costs


For budgetary figures over the period 1986-2001 see budgetary table ****
The 2002 Farm Bill increased the overall budget authority for the WRP by $1.5 billion.

Participation/Results


The WRP has been the single largest federal wetland restoration effort, enrolling over 400,950 hectares since 1990, an average of roughly 40,500 hectares per year (including the Emergency Wetlands Reserve Program #### expenditures in 1993-94).

How Programme is Monitored/Evaluated




Source/Further Information

Natural Resource Conservation Service Programs

http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/wrp/



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