Sign-up extended for conservation programNatural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Dave White reports that the ranking period cut-off date for producer applications in NRCS’s Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) has been extended to January 7, 2011.
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Dave White reports that the ranking period cut-off date for producer applications in NRCS’s Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) has been extended to January 7, 2011.
“This will help farmers and forestry producers by giving them more time and hopefully allow even more producers to participate in this program,” said Mark Dybdal, conservation programs manager in Alexandria. “There are several more enhancements being added to this application period which gives potential applicants more reasons to participate in this extended signup period.”
CSP is offered in all 50 states, District of Columbia, and the Pacific and Caribbean areas through continuous sign-ups with announced cut-off dates for ranking periods.
The program provides many conservation benefits including improvement of water and soil quality, wildlife habitat enhancement and adoption of conservation activities that address the effects of climate change.
All producers are encouraged to apply for CSP. The program, authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, offers payments to producers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and who agree to adopt higher levels of stewardship.
Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, rangeland and non-industrial forestland. Applications are available and accepted at your local NRCS office.
A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help producers determine if CSP is suitable for their operation. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, contract obligations and potential payments.
It is available from local NRCS offices or online at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/new_csp/csp.html.
In 2010, NRCS conducted two separate ranking periods for CSP and Minnesota had remarkable success. Minnesota awarded 1,575 contracts totaling 915,761 acres enrolling into CSP.
A total of more than $21 million in first year payments is associated with these Conservation Stewardship Program contracts initiated in fiscal year 2010.