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News Release

NRCS Encourages Landowners to Sign Up Now for Conservation Stewardship Program

NEWS

United States Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Conservation Service
1221 College Park Drive, Suite 100
Dover, Delaware 19904
 
For More Information:

Jayme Arthurs, 302-678-4191
Dastina Johnson, 302/678-4179

Sign up Deadline Approaching for Federal Conservation Program
New enhancements available soon to further conservation efforts

     DOVER, Del., December 8, 2010 – Delaware’s agricultural producers are encouraged to sign up by January 7 for the voluntary Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) to be considered for the first round of funding in fiscal year 2011.  Administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), CSP offers producers technical and financial assistance to improve natural resources by undertaking additional conservation enhancements and practices while continuing to properly maintain existing conservation activities on their private land.  

   CSP is a unique, performance based conservation program.  CSP participants who install more conservation enhancements receive a higher performance rating, resulting in a higher payment rate.  The top conservation enhancements installed by Delaware producers in fiscal year 2010 included the following: deep rooted crops to breakup soil compaction, cover crops to scavenge residual nitrogen, and technologies to reduce pesticide drift, among others.  Delaware also placed a special emphasis on enhancements for organic producers or those transitioning to organics.

   “This year, we’ll be adding a few additional enhancements specific to Delaware to help producers further address water, soil, and air quality, among other natural resources,” said Russell Morgan, Delaware NRCS State Conservationist.  “By expanding our enhancements, we offer producers flexibility in the type of conservation practices they can install -- all with the goal of maximizing conservation activities to solve some of our state’s environmental challenges.”

   All producers are encouraged to apply for CSP.  CSP is offered in all 50 states 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. Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, and nonindustrial private 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 apply for CSP and learn more about new enhancements, please visit your local USDA Service Center.  In Sussex County, call 302-856-3990, ext 3; in Kent County, call 302-741-2600, ext. 3; and in New Castle County, call 302-832-3100, ext. 3.  Additional information on NRCS programs and services is available online at www.de.nrcs.usda.gov. 

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