The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will continue to take applications for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) until January 7, 2011 in Mississippi.
All applications received by close of business on January 7, 2011 will be considered for funding during in the 2011-1 ranking period, State Conservationist Dr. Homer L. Wilkes announced in late November.
“The Conservation Stewardship Program changed dramatically in the 2008 Farm Bill,” said Wilkes. “NRCS took the time to develop a program that would appeal to our diverse customers and offer them an equal chance to participate. We hope that agricultural and forestry producers in Mississippi take full advantage of the benefits this newly revised program offers.”
NRCS administers the CSP, a voluntary conservation program designed to encourage producers to adopt additional conservation activities and improve, maintain and manage existing ones.
Individual producers, legal entities, and Indian tribes must meet several requirements to obtain a Conservation Stewardship Program contract. They must be listed as the operator in the USDA farm records management system for the operation being offered for enrollment. They must document that they control the land for the 5-year contract period and include all eligible land in their entire operation in the contract. They also must comply with highly erodible land and wetland conservation provisions and comply with Adjusted Gross Income provisions.
Eligible lands include cropland, grassland, improved pastureland, and non-industrial private forestland and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe. Land enrolled in the Conservation Security Program, Conservation Reserve Program, Grasslands Reserve Program, and Wetlands Reserve Program is ineligible for the Conservation Stewardship Program.
For more information about the new CSP, please visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/new_csp/csp.html.
For more information about conservation programs in Mississippi, please visit http://www.ms.nrcs.usda.gov/.