Conservation Stewardship Program Applications Due by June 14, 2013
Paige Buck, State Public Affairs Specialist
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 29, 2013
Champaign, IL– May 29, 2013 – The Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) will provide about $175 million in national funding for up to 12.6 million additional acres enrollment this year, said Illinois State Conservationist Ivan Dozier. Although NRCS accepts applications all year, farmers and forestland owners interested in CSP should submit applications by June 14 to their local NRCS office to ensure they are considered for this year’s funding. The deadline was extended from May 31.
The voluntary program allows producers to go the extra mile in conserving natural resources while also maintaining or increasing the productivity of their operations.
“CSP is different than our other financial assistance programs,” said NRCS Acting Chief Jason Weller. “It offers payments to producers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and agree to adopt higher levels of stewardship. It’s about conservation activities on the entire operation, focusing on multiple resource concerns.”
Playing a significant part in conserving and improving our nation’s resources, producers enrolled an additional 12.1 million acres in CSP last year, bringing the total number of acres to more than 50 million.
“Illinois producers have had great involvement over the last several years in this program. The amount of practices and the impact those have on our soil and water resources is tremendous,” said Dozier. Many of the CSP enhancements improve soil quality, which helps land become more resilient to extreme weather. Several other improvements are available for producers, including intensive rotational grazing, cover crops, and nutrient management activities. Because of the extreme weather in 2012, NRCS expects to see more interest and participation in the cover crop enhancements this year.
A CSP self-screening checklist is 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.
To learn more about the checklist and additional information, visit the CSP website
(http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/financial/csp/) or visit your local USDA NRCS office.
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