State Conservationist Jane Hardisty with Indiana’s USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced an extension of the deadline for new enrollments in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) for fiscal year 2014.
Hoosier farmers interested in participating in the program can submit applications to NRCS through Feb. 7, 2014.
Hardisty explained the extension is an effort to make it possible for more farmers and forest landowners to apply for this important Farm Bill conservation program. “Through their conservation actions, these good stewards are ensuring that their operations are more productive and sustainable over the long run,” she said.
CSP can help farmers take their operations to the next level of natural resource management. The program emphasizes conservation performance — farmers earn higher payments for higher levels of conservation practices. They install conservation enhancements to make positive changes in soil quality, soil erosion, water quality, water quantity, air quality, plant resources, animal resources and energy use.
Hardisty said, “USDA’s focus is on promoting environmental conservation and strengthening the rural economy, and the Conservation Stewardship Program helps Indiana farmers with both of these efforts.”
While local NRCS offices accept CSP applications year round, NRCS evaluates 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.
A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help farmers 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 learn more visit the NRCS website or contact your local NRCS office.