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NCRS extends deadline for stewardship program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has extended the deadline for new enrollments in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) for fiscal year 2014.

Producers interested in participating in the program can submit applications to NRCS through Feb. 7.

“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.”

The program emphasizes conservation performance — producers earn higher payments for higher performance. In CSP, producers 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.

Conservation Stewardship Program applications are accepted year-round with announced application cutoff periods. The application cutoff period is February 7.

To be eligible for this year’s enrollment, producers should submit their applications to NRCS by this date.

A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help producers determine if the program is suitable for their operation.

Some popular enhancements implemented by farmers, ranchers and foresters through this program include:

• using GPS guided systems to target and manage pesticide application or manage irrigation water application.

• rotating feeding areas and monitoring key grazing areas to improve grazing management

• managing riparian areas to enhance vegetative diversity and structure for wildlife habitat.

Learn more about CSP by visiting the NRCS website or a local NRCS field office.

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