This just in from USDA:
NRCS Extends Sign-up Period for Conservation Program
Applications accepted through January 21, 2011
Gainesville, FL., Jan. 10, 2011 – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) today announced the ranking period cut-off date for producer applications in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) has been extended to January 21, 2011.
“NRCS is extending the deadline for applications from its previous Jan. 7 date to provide agricultural producers two more weeks to complete their applications,” said NRCS Acting State Conservationist Jeff Woods. “This will help farmers, ranchers, and forestry producers by giving them more time and allow even more producers to participate in this program.”
All producers are encouraged to apply for CSP, Woods said, including owners of non-industrial forestland. “Private forest landowners may not be aware of the financial assistance opportunities afforded by this program,” he said, “but CSP offers those landowners an opportunity to implement conservation practices that can significantly improve their forests’ health.”
Authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, CSP offers payments to producers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and who agree to adopt higher levels of stewardship. Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, rangeland and non-industrial forestland. The CSP program provides many conservation benefits including improvement of water and soil quality, wildlife habitat enhancement and adoption of conservation activities that address the effects of climate change.
A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help producers determine if CSP is suitable for their operation. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, contract obligations and potential payments. It is available from local NRCS offices or online at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/new_csp/csp.html .
Additional information on NRCS and our programs is available on our Website at www.fl.nrcs.usda.gov or at your local USDA NRCS office. To find the nearest office go to http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app .