Conservation Stewardship Program Applications Due by June 14
Barbara Phillips, Public Affairs Specialist
SOMERSET, May 30, 2013 –New Jersey farmers and forestland owners who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and will agree to adopt higher levels of stewardship are encouraged to apply for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Applications are accepted any time, but those received by NRCS by June 14 will be considered for funding this year.
“CSP differs from our other financial assistance programs,” said NRCS State Conservationist Carrie Mosley. “It offers payments to producers.” The voluntary program allows producers to go the extra mile in conserving natural resources while also maintaining or increasing the productivity of their operations. It’s about conservation activities on the entire operation, focusing on multiple resource concerns. Many of the CSP enhancements improve soil quality, which helps land become more resilient to extreme weather.
Because of the extreme weather in 2012, more interest and participation in the cover crop enhancements is expected this year, according to NRCS experts. Several other improvements are available for producers, including intensive rotational grazing, intercropping and wildlife friendly fencing.
The Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Conservation Stewardship Program will provide about $175 million in funding for up to 12.6 million additional acres enrollment this year nationwide. The deadline was extended from May 31.
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.
Apply at your local NRCS office. For 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.