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The Conservation Security Program in the 2002 Farm Bill

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The Conservation Security Program (CSP), a new program enacted in section 2001 of the 2002 farm bill (P.L. 107-171) and administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, creates a three-tiered system rewarding increased levels of conservation on agricultural operations with increased payments. Payments include a base payment for acreage enrolled, a payment for new or existing conservation practices, and an "enhancement" payment for conservation exceeding minimum program standards. The program is open to many types of producers and different land uses, and enjoys wide support. The farm bill placed no limits on program enrollment, acreage, or funding. However, the FY2004 Consolidated Appropriations bill limited FY2004 CSP spending to $41 million (P.L. 108-199, Division A, Section 752).