NRCS Extends Sign-up Period for Conservation Stewardship Program
DOVER, Del., January 6, 2011 - USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Russell Morgan announced that the sign-up deadline for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) has been extended until January 21, 2011.
CSP is a unique, performance based conservation program. 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, and non-industrial forestland.
“NRCS extended the deadline from its January 7 date to provide agricultural producers with an additional two weeks to complete their applications,” said Morgan. “This will help our farmers and forestry producers by giving them more time to apply and hopefully allow even more producers to participate in this program.”
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.
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.
According to Morgan, both CSP and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) offer specific opportunities for forest landowners to implement conservation practices that can improve forest health. Under EQIP, which offers financial and technical assistance to help private landowners implement conservation practices on agricultural land, interested forest landowners have until February 4, 2011 to apply.
To apply for CSP or EQIP, please contact 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.
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