First Participants in Conservation Stewardship Program Can Renew for Five More Years
HARRISBURG, PA, July 15, 2014 – Producers with expiring U.S. Department of Agriculture Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) contracts have until Sept. 12, 2014 to renew and add conservation activities that will support their natural resource improvement activities and fine-tune their conservation plans.
“CSP farmers are conservation leaders and go the extra mile to conserve our nation’s resources,” said Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Jason Weller. “The 2014 Farm Bill continued that strong commitment and heightened the program’s focus on generating conservation benefits. This program allows landowners to reach the next level of conservation and opens the door to trying new conservation activities.”
About 20,000 CSP contracts are reaching the end of their initial five-year contract period and may be renewed for an additional five years when participants agree to take additional conservation actions.
The program provides opportunities for farmers who are already established conservation stewards by helping them improve water quality and quantity, soil health and wildlife habitat. NRCS began accepting renewal applications on July 11, 2014, and farmers have until September 12, 2014 to renew. There will also be another signup in fiscal year 2015.
CSP participants boost their operations’ conservation benefits by installing new conservation activities that make positive changes in soil, water, air quality and wildlife habitat. For example, the program has helped Pennsylvania farmers William and Joan Schumaker protect water quality while more efficiently applying herbicides by using the most current GPS technology yo apply herbicides on over 700 acres of cropland. They also improved the effectiveness of their riparian buffer by widening the buffer area and planting pollinator plant species.
To learn about technical and financial assistance available through CSP, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted, the Conservation Stewardship webpage or local USDA service center. For more on the 2014 Farm Bill, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/FarmBill.
The 2014 Farm Bill builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past five years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit www.usda.gov/farmbill.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay). First Participants in Conservation Stewardship Program Can Renew for Five More Years