In 2009, 408 farmers and ranchers across the State applied for the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) new Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Six hundred fifteen thousand acres of North Dakota agricultural lands were enrolled in the program’s first funding cycle.
NRCS is about to consider applications for its second funding cycle. CSP operates under a continuous sign-up period, so landowners sign up at their convenience. “Following the publication of the CSP Regulation in the Federal Register, NRCS will promptly begin ranking applications for funding,” said Paul Sweeney, NRCS State Conservationist. “CSP is open to Tribal and private agricultural lands, and also nonindustrial private forest lands statewide.”
Financial and technical assistance offered through the CSP contracts will help landowners improve, manage, or maintain the conservation practices currently on their property, as well as future projects. For example, these landowners use innovative practices such as crop rotations, precision ag technology, and recycling farm lubricants as part of their operation management strategy. In the future, they may include cover crops, no-till farming, and solar energy for water pumps and electric fences.
“These farmers and ranchers already work to improve soil health, water quality, and wildlife habitat on their property. CSP provides the means to help them continue to build upon that success,” said Sweeney.
To begin the application process, contact your local NRCS office at the USDA Service Center.
Posted by Kaci Switzer