The Secretary shall establish and, for each of fiscal years 2003 through 2011, carry out a conservation security program to assist producers of agricultural operations in promoting, as is applicable with respect to land to be enrolled in the program, conservation and improvement of the quality of soil, water, air, energy, plant and animal life, and any other conservation purposes, as determined by the Secretary.
Except as provided in paragraph (3), private agricultural land (including cropland, grassland, prairie land, improved pasture land, and rangeland), land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe (as defined by the Secretary), and forested land that is an incidental part of an agricultural operation shall be eligible for enrollment in the conservation security program.
Land that is used for crop production after May 13, 2002, that had not been planted, considered to be planted, or devoted to crop production for at least 4 of the 6 years preceding May 13, 2002 (except for land enrolled in the conservation reserve program under subpart B of part I) or that has been maintained using long-term crop rotation practices, as determined by the Secretary, shall not be the basis for any payment under the conservation security program.
The minimum requirements for each tier of conservation contracts implemented under paragraph (5) shall be determined and approved by the Secretary.
The Secretary may, in writing, require a producer to modify a conservation security contract before the expiration of the conservation security contract if the Secretary determines that a change made to the type, size, management, or other aspect of the agricultural operation of the producer would, without the modification of the contract, significantly interfere with achieving the purposes of the conservation security program.
The Secretary shall include in the conservation security contract a provision, and may permit modification of a conservation security contract under subsection (e)(1), to ensure that a producer shall not be considered in violation of a conservation security contract for failure to comply with the conservation security contract due to circumstances beyond the control of the producer, including a disaster or related condition, as determined by the Secretary.
A conservation security contract may not be entered into or renewed under this subpart after September 30, 2008.
A contract described in paragraph (2) may not be administered under the regulations issued to carry out the conservation stewardship program.