USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service has extended the ranking period cut-off date for the Conservation Stewardship Program to Jan. 21, 2011. Producers interested in CSP should submit applications to their local NRCS Office by the deadline so their applications can be considered during the first ranking period of 2011. NRCS Chief Dave White says they encourage producers who have already made conservation a priority to apply and work with NRCS to expand the scale of conservation on their land.
CSP is offered in all 50 states, and the Pacific and Caribbean areas through continuous sign-ups. Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, rangeland and nonindustrial forestland. The program provides many conservation benefits including improvement of water and soil quality, wildlife habit enhancements and adoption of conservation activities that address the effects of climate change.
The program offers payments to producers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and agree to adopt higher levels of stewardship. Producers are encouraged to apply for CSP throughout the year to be considered for current and future application ranking periods. Those producers who apply by January 21, 2011, may be eligible for current available funding.