CW2009-10-09 CSP Sign-up

CW2009-10-09 CSP Sign-up

October 12, 2009

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has received 21,300 applications to participate in the new Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). These applications cover an estimated 33 million acres, nationwide.

Nebraska NRCS State Conservationist Steve Chick reported an enthusiastic response to the new program. During the first sign-up, Nebraska had more than 2,650 applications for over 2.7 million acres.

“NRCS received enough applications to carry out conservation activities on more than twice the number of acres Congress authorized for CSP this year,” NRCS Chief Dave White said yesterday. Congress capped the national annual acreage enrollment at 12,769,000. Nebraska’s program allotment was just over 540,000 acres. “This response shows that conservation-minded producers and landowners want to attain higher levels of conservation stewardship,” added White.

Chick said, “CSP helps Nebraska farmers and ranchers achieve a higher level of conservation management. Conserving natural resources on private land benefits all of Nebraska.”

CSP provides financial and technical assistance to eligible agricultural and forestry producers to conserve and enhance soil, water, air and related natural resources on their land, and asks producers to voluntarily implement more conservation practices and improve, maintain and manage existing ones.

Lands accepted into CSP include cropland, pastureland, rangeland and non-industrial private forestland—a new land use for the program—and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe. Individual landowners/operators, legal entities, corporations and Indian tribes are eligible to apply for CSP assistance.

Producers who have signed up for CSP are working with local NRCS staff to determine their eligibility for the program. All producers who applied for CSP in the first sign-up will be meeting with NRCS before Oct. 30. NRCS will contact applicants for appointments.

For more information about CSP, including eligibility requirements, the interim final rule, and to submit comments, please visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/new_csp or your local NRCS field office.

NRCS News Release