The Natural Resources Conservation Service in Montana wants to remind producers that there is a Jan. 17 deadline if they want to apply for the new Conservation Stewardship Program. The sign-ups will determine who will be accepted for the 2014 program.
The Conservation Stewardship Program is a Farm Bill program established to help conservation stewards with taking the level of natural resource management up a notch or two. The goal is to improve agricultural production while providing valuable conservation benefits such as cleaner and more abundant water availability, and enhance a healthier environment for wildlife through improved habitat management.
While this reminder is issued by the Montana NRCS, it applies to all western states.
In its fifth year of operation, the conservation program allows NRCS partnerships to be established with producers which to date have enrolled nearly 60 million acres across the nation now functioning as CSP participants.
The program emphasizes conservation performance under the belief that producers can earn higher payments for improved performance. In CSP, producers are paid to establish under guidelines improved programs to improve soil, air and water quality, prevent soil erosion, boost water quantity availability, and find ways to tune their programs for better plant and animal resources, as well as provide potential energy savings.
Eligible landowners and operators in all states and territories are allowed to enroll in the CSP for 2014, and receive funding for approved projects than enhance conservation efforts.
The be eligible for this new enrollment, producers must have submitted their applications to NRCS by the closing date.
A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help producers determine if the program is suitable for their 2014 operations. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, stewardship threshold requirements, and payment types.
For more CSP information, visit the NRCS website, or go to a local NRCS office for details.