From: Reuters
Published March 19, 2008 06:55 PM

USDA to enroll land in "green" payment program

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Farmers will get their first chance in two years to enroll in a "green" payment program that rewards land stewardship, said the U.S. Agriculture Department on Wednesday.

Some 5 million acres in 51 watersheds nationwide could join the Conservation Security Program, said USDA. The sign-up period will run from April 18-May 16.

Created in 2002, CSP pays farmers and landowners who practice soil, water and wildlife conservation on working land. So far, 15 million acres in 331 of the 2,119 U.S. watersheds have been enrolled.

Senate Agriculture Committee chairman Tom Harkin, Iowa Democrat, said he intended to greatly expand CSP enrollment in the new U.S. farm law.

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A list of watersheds for the new CSP signup was on the Internet at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp/CSP_2008/2008_CSP_WS.html

(Reporting by Charles Abbott; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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