DES MOINES, -USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is extending the deadline for new enrollments in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) for fiscal year 2014, from Jan. 21 to Feb. 7. Producers interested in participating in the program can now submit applications to their local NRCS office.
"Extending the enrollment deadline will make it possible for more farmers and forest landowners to apply for this important conservation program," said Iowa NRCS State Conservationist Jay Mar. "Through their conservation efforts, these good stewards are ensuring that their operations are more productive and sustainable over the long run."
CSP is offered through a continuous signup, but NRCS periodically makes funding selections. Last year, Iowa NRCS obligated more than $3.8 million through 381 contracts covering 175,346 acres.
The program emphasizes conservation performance - producers earn higher payments for higher performance. Through CSP, producers install conservation enhancements to make positive changes in soil health, soil erosion, water quality, water quantity, air quality, plant resources, animal resources and energy.
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, stewardship threshold requirements and payment types.
To access the self-screening checklist or to learn more about CSP, visit the Iowa NRCS website or your local NRCS field office.