NRCS Announces Sign-up Period for Conservation Stewardship Program
Temple, Texas, January 14, 2011 - USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) State Conservationist Salvador Salinas announced January 13, 2012 as the first ranking cut-off period for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).
�CSP gives conservation minded producers the ability to apply and build on their current stewardship efforts,� said Salinas. �Farmers and ranchers actively engaged in natural resource conservation practice have the opportunity to earn financial rewards through CSP.�
CSP is a voluntary five-year program offered to landowners statewide through continuous signup. Producers interested in CSP should submit applications to their local NRCS office by the deadline so their applications can be considered during this first ranking period in 2012.
In fiscal year 2011, Texas awarded 206 CSP contracts on nearly 500,000 acres with a total of $5.1 million in payments to help farmers and ranchers implement conservation practices that provide public benefits such as cleaner water and better air quality.
�CSP is a strong program in Texas and we are hopeful more farmers and ranchers with stewardship goals will participate in the 2012 CSP,� said Salinas.
Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, rangeland and nonindustrial forestland and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of Indian tribes. Individual landowners, legal entities and Indian tribes may be eligible to apply for CSP assistance. Participants will have the opportunity to receive payments for practices that maintain and improve water and soil quality, as well as enhance wildlife habitat.
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 theCSP Web page.
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.
�I encourage farmers and ranchers actively involved in conserving their natural resources to apply for CSP in order to maintain or improve existing conservation activities, and implement additional practices on their land,� said Salinas.
Interested producers can obtain the information from theTexas NRCS website or contact their USDA-NRCS field office.
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