Thursday, May 20, 2010

Deadline approaching

Posted on Thu, May 20, 2010 at 4:00 AM

Farmers and ranchers who want to get in on the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) this year have less than a month to apply at their local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office. The CSP rewards farmers, ranchers and forestry producers for maintaining existing conservation practices and for adopting additional practices on cropland, grassland, improved pasture, rangeland, non-industrial private forestland and tribal lands. A supplemental payment will also be made for those willing to adopt resource-conserving crop rotations. This program pays producers for clean water, better soil management, improved habitat, energy efficiency and other natural resource benefits.

The CSP is a continuous sign-up program that has periodic cut-off dates for ranking applications—and June 11 is the deadline for this year. Applications can be filed at your local NRCS office in Bozeman.

The Center for Rural Affairs is also encouraging farmers, ranchers and others to call the Center’s Farm Bill Helpline to learn more about the program and application process as well as to share information on barriers farmers and ranchers encounter during the sign-up. Potential CSP applicants can call the Farm Bill Helpline at (402) 687-2100 or send an e-mail to tracib@cfra.org.

The CSP has had a tremendous national impact on conservation practices on working lands, with 13 million acres enrolled across the country.

John Crabtree

Center for Rural Affairs

Omaha, Neb.

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