February 3, 2015, Washington, DC – With a February 27 deadline
approaching, farmers and ranchers in California have only a few
weeks to apply to enroll in the federal Conservation Stewardship
CSP rewards producers for the conservation and environmental benefits
they produce on their working agricultural lands; all private agricultural
land, including cropland, pasture, and rangeland, is eligible to enroll in
CSP. For example, CSP contract-holding farmers can receive payments
for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation
activities like cover crops, rotational grazing, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and the transition to organic farming.
Details on this year’s program are available for free in an InformationAlert published this week by the National Sustainable Agriculture
Coalition. Farmers and ranchers must submit initial applications to
their local NRCS office by Feb 27 to have their applications
considered for 2015. Applications will be scored and ranked
based on farmers’ current and planned on-farm conservation
activities, and the applications offering the highest level of
environmental benefits will be awarded CSP contracts.
CSP contract holders that enrolled in 2011 are now in the final
year of their five-year contract and are therefore eligible to renew
for another five years. Initial requests to renew must be submitted
to local NRCS offices by March 31.
CSP is the nation’s largest conservation program by acreage and
is widely popular among farmers and ranchers. Since the program
began in 2009, nearly 70 million acres of farm and ranch land have
been enrolled in the program.