SPOKANE, Wash., (Aug. 10, 2009) — USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that it will begin continuous sign-up for the revamped Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) today, August 10, with the first sign-up period cutoff scheduled for September 30. CSP encourages agricultural and forestry producers to maintain existing conservation activities and adopt additional ones on their operations.
The NRCS administers CSP, a voluntary conservation program designed to encourage agricultural and forestry producers to adopt additional activities and to improve, maintain and manage existing ones. Eligible lands include cropland, grassland, prairie, improved pastureland, rangeland, non-industrial private forestland—a new land use for the program—and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an American Indian Tribe. Individual landowners, legal entities, and American Indian Tribes may be eligible to apply for CSP assistance.
The program will be offered to producers nationwide through continuous sign-ups. Agricultural and forestry producers must submit their applications by Sept. 30 to be considered for funding in the first ranking period. Congress capped the annual acreage enrollment at 12,769,000 acres for each fiscal year nationwide.