Conservation Stewardship Program applications due by June 14
Huron (NRCS) – The Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) will provide about $175 million in funding for up to 12.6 million additional acres enrollment this year.
Although applications are accepted all year, farmers, ranchers and forestland owners interested in CSP should submit applications by June 14 to their local NRCS office to ensure they are considered for this year’s funding. The deadline was extended from May 31.
CSP is different than our other financial assistance programs, said NRCS Acting Chief Jason Weller. It 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.
South Dakota CSP Coordinator, Jessica Michalski, states CSP has been an extremely successful program in South Dakota. Many SD producers are interested in continuing a tradition of improving our states’ natural resources and increasing productivity of their operations by enrolling in this voluntary program.
Playing a significant part in conserving and improving our nation’s resources, producers enrolled an additional 12.1 million acres in CSP last year, bringing the total number of acres to more than 50 million. South Dakota currently has over 1100 contracts totaling more than 2.9 million acres.
Many of the CSP enhancements improve soil quality, which helps land become more resilient to extreme weather. Several other improvements are available for producers, including intensive rotational grazing, intercropping and wildlife friendly fencing.
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 operation. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, stewardship threshold requirements and payment types.
For the checklist and additional information, visit the CSP website http://1.usa.gov/115iUVV, visit your local USDA NRCS office, or contact South Dakota CSP Coordinator, Jessica Michalski at (605) 532-3686 Ext. 4.