Take Advantage of Extended Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Deadline

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently extended the application deadline for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) until Friday, January 27, 2012 for farmers and ranchers who hope to apply for the CSP for next year but needed additional time to complete applications. To sign up, producers should visit their local NRCS office.
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.

The Center is encouraging producers to call our Farm Bill Helpline to help us learn more about how the program and application process are working and any barriers farmers and ranchers encounter during the sign-up. In order to fully understand your experience, we ask that you have specific information handy when you call (see http://www.cfra.org/csp for details).  Potential CSP applicants can call the Farm Bill Helpline at (402) 687-2100 or send an email to tracib@cfra.org.  The Center for Rural Affairs also has a CSP fact sheet available online at http://www.cfra.org/renewrural/csp.

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