usda fieldKENTUCKY (12/2/13) — The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service just opened the Conservation Stewardship Program for new enrollments in 2014. From Dec. 2 through Jan. 17, farmers, ranchers and foresters interested in participating in the program can submit applications to NRCS.

The CSP rewards farmers, ranchers, and foresters for maintaining existing conservation practices and adopting additional practices on cropland, grassland, non-industrial private forestland and tribal lands. The program helps producers foster clean water, better soil management, improved habitat, energy efficiency and provide other natural resource benefits.

The CSP is a continuous sign-up program that has periodic cut-off dates for ranking applications. Jan. 17 is the deadline for the coming year. Applications can be filed at your local NRCS office. The Center for Rural Affairs also encourages potential applicants to call the Center's Farm Bill Helpline to learn more about the application process and help uncover and overcome barriers encountered during the sign-up by calling (402) 687-2100 or emailing Traci Bruckner at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

By 2013 CSP reached more than 60 million acres enrolled nationally. CSP is one of the most popular and effective conservation programs, and many will apply, which is why the Center for Rural Affairs has fought so hard to protect threats to this funding in the current farm bill and appropriations debates in Congress. Producers interested in applying should contact the Center for Rural Affairs helpline and their local NRCS office as soon as possible to meet the deadline.

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