Conservation stewardship program applications due by June 14
Jane Hardisty, State Conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Indiana recently announced the deadline for applicants interested in funding for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).
NRCS accepts applications for conservation programs all year, however to be considered for this year's funding Hoosier farmers and forestland owners should submit applications by June 14 to their local NRCS office.
"The Conservation Stewardship Program is a voluntary program that allows producers to go the extra mile in conserving natural resources while also maintaining or increasing the productivity of their operations," said Hardisty. "It is different than our other programs because we offer payments to producers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and agree to adopt even higher levels of stewardship."
The agency will provide about $175 million in funding nationwide for up to 12.6 million additional acres to be enrolled this year.
"Many of the CSP enhancements improve soil quality, which helps land become more resilient to extreme weather," Hardisty said. "This program is about focusing on multiple resource concerns on the entire operation."
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, conservation stewardship requirements and payment types.
For the checklist and additional information, visit the CSP websit (http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/financial/csp/) or visit your local Indiana USDA NRCS office www.in.nrcs.usda. gov/contact/directory/field_offices.html.