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News Release

First Participants from 2010 in Conservation Stewardship Program Can Renew

Contact:
Paige Buck, State Public Affairs Specialist
(217)353.6606


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 2, 2014   

Champaign, IL—July 2, 2014 – Producers with expiring 2010 contracts from the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) have from July 11 through September 12, 2014 to renew and add conservation activities to support their natural resource improvements.

“CSP farmers are conservation leaders and go the extra mile to conserve our nation’s resources,” said Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Jason Weller. “The 2014 Farm Bill continued that strong commitment and heightened the program’s focus on generating conservation benefits. This program allows operators to reach the next level of conservation and opens the door to trying new conservation activities.”

According to NRCS State Conservationist Ivan Dozier, over 500 CSP contracts affecting nearly 400,000 acres in Illinois are reaching the end of their initial five-year contract period. “We can renew those contracts for an additional five years when participants agree to take on additional conservation activities. Maybe it’s time to try cover crops or explore some other ideas you’ve considered,” Dozier said.  “Producers that have 2010 CSP contracts will be contacted directly by the local NRCS Field Office to notify them of the opportunity to renew their contract,” Dozier added.

CSP provides opportunities for operators who are already established conservation stewards. CSP helps them improve water quality and quantity, soil health and wildlife habitat. NRCS will accept renewal applications beginning July 11, 2014.  Producers with 2010 contracts who want to renew need to take the opportunity now before the renewal sign up ends September 12, 2014.

Nationwide, landowners enrolled more than 58 million acres in the program during the first 5 years of the program. In Illinois, from 2010 through 2013, nearly 1 million acres of agriculture and non-industrial private forestland have been enrolled in CSP. Using this voluntary program, participants boost their operations’ conservation benefits by installing new conservation activities that make positive changes in soil, water, air quality, energy, and wildlife habitat. “There’s always the potential to address a concern on the farm or try something new,” says Dozier.  “And CSP offers technical guidance and a financial incentive to continually improve your resource base and invest in your land.”

To learn more about technical and financial assistance available through CSP, visit www.il.nrcs.usda.gov, the Conservation Stewardship webpage or your local USDA service center.

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