NRCS to hold 108 public meetings statewide on new conservation program
The Natural Resources Conservation Service is holding 108 public meetings across the state by the end of August for producers to learn about the new Conservation Stewardship Program.
Steve Chick, NRCS state conservationist said this program was announced Aug. 10 by U.S. Department of Agriculture officials. This is the first nationwide sign-up for this program. Previous sign-ups under a similar program were on a watershed or area basis.
Farm and ranch operators will have until Sept. 30 to apply for this first program sign-up at local NRCS offices. The Conservation Stewardship Program is a voluntary program that encourages ag producers to maintain existing conservation practices and adopt news ones in their operations. This program was authorized through 2017 in the last farm bill. NRCS will be taking applications on a continuous sign-up and periodically ranking applications for funding in the future also.
"During the application process the operator will have to provide some documentation of their operations, and if they rent land be able to show control of the land for the length of a five year contract," said Chick. There are also some operators, especially grazing folks that may not have a Farm Service Agency number for their operations. That number will be needed for the CSP application. These meetings will give more producers time to get ready, he added.
CSP is not a cost-share program but rather pays for conservation work already accomplished and offers incentives to apply additional conservation practices.
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