The Conservation Reserve
Program is voluntary program where producers can enroll environmentally
sensitive land near a stream, lake, pond, wetland, or other waterbodies
into vegetative cover for a period of 10 to 15 years. Individuals
who enroll land into the "buffer program" will be compensated
on a per acre basis with an annual rental payment. The goal is
to install riparian buffer strips along marginal agricultural
land to filter out nitrogen, sediment, pesticides and other pollutants
that would normally enter an environmentally sensitive area directly.
Pictured below is a grassed buffer strip adjacent to a pasture.
Along with the rental
payment, farmers are eligable for cost sharing on certain practices
that support the establishment of buffers. Traditionally, in Chenango
County, these practices include alternative watering systems and
associated pipelines, laneway improvements, stream crossings,
troughs, and the establishment of vegetative cover (grass, shrub
and tree species).
The USDA Natural Resources
Conservation Service is the agency that provides landowners with
the conservation plan to develop riparian buffer strips. The Farm
Service Agency (FSA) handles the contractual and financial aspect
of the program.
In Chenango County
the Conservation Reserve Program is by far the most sucessful
and easiest for producers to get involved in. The financial advantages
to the program, the continuous sign-up period, and the practices
available for cost sharing
If you're interested
in learning more about the Conservation Reserve Program, contact
Lauren Johnson at email@example.com or the Chenango County
Soil and Water Conservation District at (607) 334-8634 ext. 3.