The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced that the application deadline for the 2014 Conservation Stewardship Program is Jan. 17, 2014. Applications for CSP are accepted on a continuous basis; however, producers interested in CSP should submit applications to their local NRCS office by no later than January 17 to ensure they are considered for this year’s funding.
The voluntary program allows farmers and forest landowners to go the extra mile in conserving natural resources while also maintaining or increasing the productivity of their operations. It offers payments to producers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and agree to adopt higher levels of stewardship, while focusing on multiple resource concerns on the entire operation.
CSP emphasizes conservation performance – producers earn higher payments for higher performance. In CSP, producers install conservation enhancements to make positive changes in soil quality, soil erosion, water quality, water quantity, air quality, plant resources, animal resources and energy. Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, 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. For the checklist or for additional program information, visit the Maine NRCS website at www.me.nrcs.usda.gov, or contact your local USDA Service Center, listed online at http://offices.usda.gov.
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