LYONS, NEBRASKA – The sign-up period for Nebraska farmers interested in enrolling in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) has begun.
“For farmers and ranchers who are already doing conservation on their operation, CSP is a great opportunity to incorporate new practices,” said Andrea Hartman, policy assistant for the Center for Rural Affairs “It’s about rewarding producers for the conservation they’ve done, as well as helping them reach the next level of conservation, especially if they haven’t been able to expand their conservation due to the cost of some practices.”
Administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), CSP is one of the leading programs offering cost-share and technical assistance for conservation on working lands, providing financial and technical assistance for producers to maintain agricultural production on their land, and simultaneously address resource concerns with conservation practices.
“CSP, is a valuable program designed to aid farmers and ranchers in reaching the next level in conservation across their whole farm or ranch” Hartman said.
In 2018, Nebraska ranked first among states for renewed acres in CSP and third for percentage of eligible contracts renewed. Nebraska also ranked second for new enrolled acres. Top practices in CSP contracts for Nebraska include: cover crops, herbaceous weed treatment, tree and shrub establishment, conservation cover, and structures for wildlife, like certain types of fencing.
When applying for a CSP contract, producers develop a conservation plan with their local NRCS technicians. These plans include an assortment of practices and enhancements then implemented on their operations. These practices and enhancements benefit a wide array of natural resources, including water quality and soil health.
Farmers interested in applying should call their local NRCS office to set up an appointment. In Nebraska, the deadline to submit initial paperwork is Nov. 20.
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