USDA NRCS Announces Sign-Up Period for Conservation Stewardship Program
Holly L. Martien
Alexandria, December 3, 2012 – Agricultural producers interested in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) should submit applications to their local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service office by December 21, 2012, to be considered during the first ranking period of 2013.
“I encourage all farmers and ranchers who are interested in applying for CSP to contact their local NRCS office as soon as possible, so that they can meet the deadline,” said Acting State Conservationist, Britt Paul. “Year after year, CSP continues to be a popular program in Louisiana.”
CSP is offered in all 50 states and the Pacific and Caribbean areas through continuous sign-ups. The program provides many conservation benefits including improvement of water and soil quality, wildlife habit enhancements, and adoption of conservation activities that address the effects of climate change. Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest land, and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe.
A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help potential applicants 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 and on the CSP web page at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/financial/csp
As part of the CSP application process, applicants will work with NRCS field personnel to complete the resource inventory using a Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT). The CMT determines the conservation performance for existing and new conservation activities. The applicant’s conservation performance will be used to determine eligibility, ranking and payments.
In 2012 alone, over 10,000 applicants enrolled in CSP nationwide, putting additional conservation on 12.1 million acres to improve water and soil quality, enhance wildlife habitat, and address the effects of climate change. In 2012, 268 agricultural producers in Louisiana enrolled 250,799 acres in CSP.
For more information on the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service or the Conservation Stewardship Program, visit the NRCS web site at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/site/national/home/ or visit your local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service office.
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