Take Advantage of Extended Deadline for CSP

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently extended the application deadline for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) until January 7, 2011. This is a welcome extension for farmers and ranchers who hope to apply for the CSP for next year but needed additional time to complete applications, especially coming off the busy harvest season.
The CSP rewards farmers, ranchers, and foresters for maintaining existing conservation practices and for adopting additional practices on cropland, grassland, non-industrial private forestland and tribal lands. This program pays producers for fostering clean water, better soil management, improved habitat, energy efficiency, and other natural resource benefits.

At the Center for Rural Affairs, we want this program to work for those employing conservation-based farming and ranching systems, and we believe the CSP is a step in the right direction for financially rewarding historical commitments to conservation on working lands while still encouraging adoption of further conservation measures. This is a far better approach than paying to clean-up problems.

We also understand, however, that there are concerns to work out, as with any relatively new conservation program.  That's why we encourage producers to call our Farm Bill Helpline with questions about the application process and to share their experiences, both positive and negative.

In order to fully understand your experience and problems encountered, we ask that you have specific information handy when you call (see http://www.cfra.org/news_media/releases for details).  Producers can call (402) 687-2100 and ask for the Farm Bill Helpline or send an email to tracib@cfra.org.