NRCS extends sign-up period for Conservation Stewardship Program
Applications accepted through January 21, 2011
PORTLAND, Ore. (Jan. 6, 2011) – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced the ranking period cut-off date for producer applications in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) has been extended to January 21, 2011. “NRCS is extending the deadline for applications from its previous Jan. 7 date to provide agricultural producers two more weeks to complete their applications,” said Oregon NRCS Leader for Programs Dennis Kimberlin. “This will help farmers, ranchers, and forestry producers by giving them more time and allow even more producers to participate in this program.”
During the period October 2009 through September 2010, NRCS in Oregon funded 371 CSP applications covering more than 1,182,271 acres and providing $7.5 million to help farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners implement additional conservation practices on their land.
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, including owners of non-industrial forestland. “Private forest landowners may not be aware of the financial assistance opportunities afforded by this program,” Kimberlin said, “but CSP offers those landowners an opportunity to implement conservation practices that can significantly improve their forests’ health.”
Authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, CSP 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.
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.
To learn more, interested applicants should contact their local NRCS office or visit or website at www.or.usda.gov.
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