Friday, May 21, 2010

Conservation Stewardship


Near Challis--John Thompson photo
APPLY FOR CONSERVATION STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM BY JUNE 11

BOISE– The Natural Resources Conservation Service wants to reward good agriculture land stewards; the Conservation Stewardship Program offers monetary incentives to encourage producers to maintain existing and take on new conservation practices. Producers must sign up before June 11, 2010 to qualify for 2010 funds.

“This program acknowledges producers that are good land stewards,” said Clint Evans, Assistant State Conservationist for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Boise, Idaho. “The application process is a bit time consuming up front, but we think the benefit to producers is worth the effort.”

The application process evaluates an agricultural operation’s conservation activities. The program pays producers to continue with conservation practices that treat issues such as soil erosion or water quality. Adding extra conservation activities can increase your payments.

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) offers two payment types: an annual payment to continue existing conservation practices and adopt new ones and a supplemental payment for adopting resource conserving crop rotations. The per acre payments range from $12 to $22 for cropland, $7 to $14 for pasture, $5 to $10 for rangeland, and $6 to $12 for forestland. A supplemental payment, available only for cropland, adds an additional $12 to $16 for the resource conservation crop rotation.

Last year, Idaho received 91 applications covering 106,158 acres of agricultural land and 10 applications for 6,917 acres of nonindustrial private forestland. “We’re hoping we can get more agriculture and forestry producers signed up in 2010,” Evans added.

Take the first step in the application process and complete the online self-screening checklist to see if the Conservation Stewardship Program is right for you; go to http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/new_csp/special_pdfs/CSP_Producer_Self-Screening_Checklist.pdf

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