The deadline to submit an application to enroll in the Conservation Stewardship Program through USDA;s Natural Resources Conservation Service has been extended through Feb. 7, 2014. Producers who enroll by that date will be eligible for funding consideration in Fiscal Year 2014.
"Extending the enrollment deadline will make it possible for more farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to apply for this important Farm Bill conservation program," NRCS Chief Jason Weller said. "Through their conservation actions, these good stewards are ensuring that their operations are more productive and sustainable over the long run and CSP can help them take their operations to the next level of natural resource management."
The Conservation Stewardship program is now in its fifth year. NRCS has partnered with producers to enroll more than 59 million acres across the country in the program, which allows producers to continue grazing cattle or cutting hay on enrolled land.
Weller said the program is another reminder why it is vital for Congress to pass a new Farm Bill.
The CSP emphasizes conservation performance—producers earn higher payments for higher performance. In CSP, producers install conservation enhancements to make positive changes in soil quality, soil erosion, water quality, water quantity, air quality, plant resources, animal resources, and energy use.
Eligible landowners and operators in Kansas apply for the program all year long. However, NRCS evaluates applications during announced ranking periods, which for this year has been extended to Feb. 7.
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 the CSP eligibility requirements, stewardship threshold requirements, and payment types.
For the checklist and additional information, visit the CSP website or visit your local USDA NRCS office.