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News Release

Conservation Stewardship Program Rewards Ag Producers for Good Stewardship Efforts - Fiscal Year 2014 Application Period Ends January 17, 2014

ALEXANDRIA, December 17, 2013 –The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for fiscal year 2014 enrollments in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).  CSP encourages producers who are good stewards of the land to improve their conservation performance by installing additional conservation practices and improving/maintaining existing conservation practices.  Agricultural producers interested in CSP should submit applications to their local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service office by January 17, 2014, to be considered for fiscal year 2014 funding.

“The Conservation Stewardship Program is a voluntary conservation program that is making a big difference in Louisiana,” said State Conservationist Kevin Norton.  “Preliminary data indicates that in fiscal year 2013, over 130,000 acres of land in Louisiana were enrolled in CSP to improve water and soil quality, enhance wildlife habitat, and address the effects of climate change.”

CSP is now in its fifth year, and so far, NRCS in Louisiana has partnered with producers to enroll over 900,000 acres of cropland, pastureland, and nonindustrial forestland across the state in the program. 

 “I have installed conservation practices through the years to help keep my soil on my farm and not in the creek, but I knew I could do more,” said Kirby McLemore of Franklin Parish.  “CSP helped me improve my conservation efforts by planting cover crops, and the cover crops have not only reduced soil leaving my farm, but they have improved soil quality and helped increase production levels–increasing my profits.”
 
 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 January 17, 2014.

 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/.
 
 For more information on the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service or the Conservation Stewardship Program, visit the NRCS web site at:  www.nrcs.usda.gov or visit your local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service office.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps America’s farmers and ranchers conserve the Nation’s soil, water, air, and other natural resources.  All programs are voluntary and offer science-based solutions that benefit both the landowner and the environment.

 Follow NRCS in Louisiana on Twitter http://twitter.com/nrcs_louisiana and YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/LouisianaNRCS.


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