Funding Helps Agricultural Producers Improve Working Lands
Application Deadline March 31 for Conservation Stewardship Program
GAINESVILLE, Fla., Feb. 5, 2015 – Agricultural producers can now sign up for funding available through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), a conservation program that helps improve the health and productivity of private and tribal working lands. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) plans to add an estimated 10 million acres to the rolls of CSP during fiscal 2016.
NRCS accepts applications for CSP throughout the year, but producers should submit applications by March 31 to USDA service centers to be considered for enrollment in 2016. Participants with existing CSP contracts that will expire on Dec.31, 2016, have the option to renew their contracts for an additional five years if they agree to adopt additional activities to achieve higher levels of conservation on their lands. Applications to renew are also due by March 31. In Florida, producers can participate through CSP in the regional landscape-level Longleaf Pine Initiative.
Funding is available for more than 100 kinds of enhancements to help participants:
- Improve soil quality through use of cover crops, conservation crop rotations and other activities that increase soil productivity.
- Use water wisely and improve water quality through enhancements such as more efficient irrigation systems and weather monitoring.
- Restore habitat for wildlife and pollinators such as the greater sage-grouse, lesser prairie-chicken and monarch butterfly through the use of better grazing systems and improved plant management.
Public Affairs Florida