As the government’s new fiscal year begins, the National Resource Conservation Service says it is working to find ways to improve the systems already in place.
NRCS chief Terry Cosby says he wants to look at programs like environmental quality incentives and conservation stewardship to see how the influx of extra spending could improve those ideas while making the programs homogeneous. He says the first step is to remove the complications from these programs.
“They are oversubscribed. We can only fund about a quarter of the applications that come through the door. With this new infusion of funds, we want to make sure that we are looking at some of that backlog, but we also have all those other people who would like to participate. How can we make room at the table for anyone who wants to participate in Farm Bill programs, conservation and technical assistance? Most of the time, farmers and landowners will implement these practices themselves if they have the technical assistance. So we want to prepare our staff for that. We’re going to make those retention plans and make sure that when you get out of that office, if the retention plan is what you want. That’s what we’re going to give you,” Cosby said.
Cosby notes that if producers want to apply some of these practices in their work, the Agency wants to be able to support them in any way possible, including financial assistance if needed.