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News Release

USDA extends deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program to Feb. 7th

Contact:
Diane Baedeker Petit
413-253-4371


Berkshire County pastureland

AMHERST, Mass., Jan. 13, 2014 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has extended the deadline for new enrollments in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) for fiscal year 2014. Farmers and forest land owners interested in participating in the program can submit applications to NRCS through Feb. 7, 2014. 

“Extending the enrollment deadline will make it possible for more farmers and forest landowners to apply for this important Farm Bill conservation program,” said Barbara Miller, NRCS Acting State Conservationist for Massachusetts. “Through their conservation actions, these good stewards are ensuring that their operations are more productive and sustainable over the long run and CSP can help them take their operations to the next level of natural resource management.”

In CSP, farm and forest producers install conservation enhancements to make positive changes in soil quality, soil erosion, water quality, water quantity, air quality, plant resources, animal resources and energy use. The program emphasizes conservation performance — producers earn higher payments for higher performance.

Eligible landowners and operators in Massachusetts can enroll in CSP through Feb. 7 to be eligible during fiscal year 2014. While local NRCS offices accept CSP applications year round, NRCS evaluates applications during announced ranking periods. To be eligible for this year’s enrollment, producers must have their applications submitted to NRCS by the closing date.

A CSP self-screening checklistis available to help producers determine if the program is suitable for their operation. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, stewardship threshold requirements and payment types.

Learn more about CSP by visiting the NRCS websiteor any local USDA service center.