The Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA) program provides cotton producers with proven conservation technology and the delivery system needed to achieve the benefits of a healthy and productive landscape. Although the CTA program does not include financial or cost-share assistance, CTA planning can also serve as a catalyst to financial assistance and easement conservation programs provided by other federal, State, and local programs. Cotton producers are well served to request a comprehensive conservation plan for their farming operation; this can then provide the basis for participation in other conservation programs.
How it works:
The CTA program functions through a national network of locally-based, professional conservationists located in nearly every county of the United States. Technical assistance is provided to cotton producers by USDA NRCS employees or employees of cooperating entities under the technical supervision of NRCS to address opportunities, concerns, and problems related to the use of natural resources. This assistance may be in the form of resource assessment, practice design, resource monitoring, or follow-up of installed practices. The assistance of CTA can help land users in the following:
- Maintain and improve private lands and their management
- Implement better land management technologies
- Protect and improve water quality and quantity
- Maintain and improve wildlife and fish habitat
- Enhance recreational opportunities on their land
- Maintain and improve the aesthetic character of private land
- Explore opportunities to diversify agricultural operations and
- Develop and apply sustainable agricultural systems
All owners, managers, and others who have a stake and interest in natural resource management are eligible to receive technical assistance from NRCS. To receive technical assistance, the individual may contact their local NRCS office or the local conservation district. All requests for technical assistance through the CTA program are prioritized by NRCS and the local conservation district, depending on the natural resource priorities within the state. This program does not include financial assistance. There are no fees or charges to the land user for this service. However, since the planning process is lengthy and funding is often in shortage, a producer should request a plan early in the process.
Improving the odds:
NRCS partners on the local level with conservation districts and state conservation commissions to provide conservation technical assistance. Contact your local USDA Service Center (http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app) or local conservation district (http://www.nacdnet.org/about/districts/locate/) to request assistance or develop a conservation plan through CTA..