LYONS, Neb.-USDA's National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently announced that the deadline for producer applications for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) has been extended to January 27.
While CSP is a continuous sign-up program and producers can apply to enroll at any time of the year, NRCS applies a cut-off date for applications to be considered during a particular fiscal year. Once the cut-off date is past, producers may continue to apply for the program, but they will not be considered for entry until the spring of the following year, in this case spring of 2013. In order to enroll in 2012 applications must filed by January 27.
The Conservation Stewardship Program is a voluntary stewardship incentives program, administered by USDA's NRCS, designed to reward growers, ranchers and forestry producers to maintain existing conservation on working lands, as well as for the adoption of additional conservation measures that provide multiple environmental benefits that run beyond the farm or ranch. This program pays producers for clean water, better soil management, improved habitat, energy efficiency and other natural resource benefits.
"We hope more growers and ranchers will take advantage of this extension for the CSP application deadline. To meet this deadline, they just need to submit the basic application form to their local NRCS office," said Traci Bruckner, Assistant Director of Rural Policy at the Center for Rural Affairs.
CSP is one of the most popular conservation programs. In 2010 alone, nearly 21,000 applicants enrolled in CSP, putting additional conservation on 25.2 million acres, about the size of the state of Kentucky. Farmers and ranchers interested in applying should contact their local NRCS office as soon as possible to meet the deadline.
To sign up, producers should visit their NRCS local service center: (http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?agency=nrcs).