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USDA announces CSP watersheds for 2007

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns today announced 51 watersheds in 50 states, the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean Area will be eligible for the 2007 Conservation Security Program (CSP).

These watersheds, according to USDA, represent around 64,500 of the nation's potentially eligible farms and ranches, covering nearly 24 million acres of cropland and grazing land. One watershed each in North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio were selected to be part of CSP for 2007.

"This is the fourth year the Conservation Security Program has recognized farmers and ranchers for their ongoing stewardship on working agricultural lands," Johanns said. "Our investment in this voluntary program has already proved beneficial by creating many successful cooperative public-private partnerships across the nation."

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service started CSP in fiscal year 2004. Currently, there are 280 watersheds in CSP nationwide, covering nearly 224 million acres. Based upon President George W. Bush's requested funding level for the program for fiscal year 2007, 51 additional watersheds would be eligible for enrollment.

Eligible watersheds are being announced now to allow farmers and ranchers adequate time to gather resource information on their operations in preparation for a prospective sign-up.

Under CSP, USDA rewards producers who practice good stewardship on agricultural lands and offers incentives to increase the use of conservation practices.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns today announced 51 watersheds in 50 states, the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean Area will be eligible for the 2007 Conservation Security Program (CSP).

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