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USDA extends application deadline for conservation stewardship program

The Aberdeen Times of Aberdeen, Idaho

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The deacdline for new enrollments in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) for fiscal year 2014 has been extended by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service. Producers interested in participating in the program can submit applications to NRCS throiugh Feb. 7, 2014 for fiscal year 2014 funding.

"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."

CSP is now in its fifth year and so far, NRCS has worked with producers to enroll more than 59 million acres across the nation.

The program emphasizes conservation performance. Producers earn higher payments for higher performance. Producers enrolled in the program can get financial assistance to install conservtion enhancements that 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 all states and territories can enroll in CSP. Local NRCS offices accept CSP applications year round then evaluate applications during announced ranking periods. To be eligible for this year's enrollment, producers must have their applications submitted to NRCS by the closing date of Feb. 7, 2014.

A self-screening checklist with basic information on program eligibility requirements, contract obligation, and potential payments is available to help producers determine if the program is suitable for their operation. The self-screening checklist, along with a list of practices and enhancements, payment rates and more, is available on the Idaho NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program Web page.

For more information on CSP, stop by the local USDA service center or visit Idaho NRCS online at

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Original Publication Date: January 15, 2014

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