USDA Conservation Stewardship Program

This in from the USDA...

For Immediate Release
Florida Ag Producers Should Apply Now for Financial Assistance
Conservation Stewardship Program Funds Available

Gainesville, FL., December 19, 2011 – Financial and technical assistance is now available to farmers and ranchers interested in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Stewardship Program. The program, also called CSP, is administered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Producers interested in CSP should submit applications to their local NRCS office by January 13, 2012 so that their applications can be considered during the first ranking period of 2012.

“The CSP program is a good opportunity for producers to undertake additional conservation actions while continuing to maintain and manage existing conservation activities,” said Carlos Suarez, Florida NRCS state conservationist. “I encourage all farmers and ranchers who are interested in applying to contact their local NRCS office as soon as possible to determine eligibility.”

CSP is offered in all 50 states, and the Pacific and Caribbean areas through continuous sign-ups. The program provides many conservation benefits including improvement of water and soil quality, wildlife habit enhancements and adoption of conservation activities that address the effects of climate change. Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest land and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe.

A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help potential applicants 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 and on the CSP Web page.

As part of the CSP application process, applicants will work with NRCS field personnel to complete the resource inventory using a Conservation Measurement Tool (CMT). The CMT determines the conservation performance for existing and new conservation activities. The applicant’s conservation performance will be used to determine eligibility, ranking and payments.

Visit the NRCS National Web site, and connect with an NRCS office near you.

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