Sign up for Conservation Stewardship Program by Sept. 30

ST. PAUL, Minn. (9/9/2009) —Registration for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is taking place now until Sept. 30, 2009. The CSP is a voluntary program through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service that encourages producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by undertaking additional conservation activities; and improving, maintaining and managing existing conservation activities.

CSP is available on Tribal and private agricultural lands and non-industrial private forest land in all 50 States. This program has a continuous sign up, however the first-round deadline is Sept. 30.

The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide financial and technical assistance to eligible producers to conserve and enhance soil, water, air and related natural resources on their land. Eligible lands include cropland, grassland, prairie land, improved pastureland, rangeland, non-industrial private forest lands, agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe, and other private agricultural land (including cropped woodland, marshes, and agricultural land used for the production of livestock) on which resource concerns related to agricultural production could be addressed.

CSP encourages land stewards to improve their conservation performance by installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities on agricultural land and non-industrial private forest land. CSP is available nationwide on a continuous application basis.

The entire operation must be enrolled and must include all eligible land that will be under the applicant’s control for the term of the proposed contract (CSP is a five-year contract program) that is operated substantially separate from other operations.

CSP offers participants two possible types of payments:

  1. Annual payment for installing and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining and managing existing activities
  2. Supplemental payment for the adoption of resource-conserving crop rotations

Estimated Range for Annual Payments
Cropland: $12 to $22 per acre
Non-industrial private forestland: $6 to $12 per acre
Pastureland: $7 to $14 per acre
Rangeland: $5 to $10 per acre

Estimated Range for Supplemental Payments
Resource-Conservation Crop Rotation: $12 to $16 per acre

Landowners should contact their County USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office for more information and pick up a copy of the “Producer Self-Screening Checklist.” More information is also found at the NRCS website.

Eli 's work addresses Minnesota forest ecology & management. He's based in St Paul.

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