WASHINGTON — The USDA announced Wednesday that the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Conservation Stewardship Program, or CSP, will provide nearly $175 million in funding for up to 12.6 million additional acres of enrollment this year.
“The Conservation Stewardship Program is different than other USDA financial assistance programs,” said U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “CSP offers payments to producers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and agree to adopt higher levels of stewardship. It’s about conservation activities on the entire operation focusing on multiple resource concerns.”
Although applications are accepted all year, farmers, ranchers and forestland owners interested in CSP should submit applications by May 31 to their local NRCS office to ensure they are considered for this year’s funding.
Producers enrolled an additional 12.1 million acres in CSP last year, bringing the current total of acres to more than 50 million.
Because of the extreme weather in 2012, more interest and participation in the cover crop enhancements is expected this year, according to NRCS experts.
A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help producers determine if the program is suitable for their operations.
For the checklist and additional information, visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/financial/csp/ or your local USDA NRCS office.