CSP sign-up is under way in Tennessee
Posted: Tuesday, April 27, 2010 8:02 pm
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) wants to remind agriculture and forestry producers in Tennessee that applications are being accepted for the second round of funding for the new Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).
The program encourages producers to address resource concerns in a comprehensive manner by improving, maintaining and managing existing activities, and by installing and adopting new conservation activities.
State conservationist Kevin Brown is encouraging producers to sign-up for CSP funding.
“CSP is the conservation program of the future,” Brown said. “The purpose of CSP is to reward producers with historically high levels of conservation and encourage those operators to go forward with additional management of natural resources. Tennessee’s collection of agricultural and forestry producers are some of the best the nation has to offer, and we hope they take full advantage of the benefits this newly revised program offers.”
CSP offers a continuous sign-up, but the cutoff for this application period is scheduled for mid- to late-May.
Eligible lands include cropland, grassland, pastureland and non-industrial private forestland — a new land use for the program. Land currently enrolled in the Conservation Security Program, Conservation Reserve Program, Grass-lands Reserve Program and/or Wetlands Reserve Program are ineligible for the new Conservation Stewardship Program.
Acceptance into the program depends on land eligibility, applicant eligibility and the operation’s current level of conservation. A producer must meet at least one resource concern at the time of application and meet an additional priority resource concern during the length of the five-year CSP contract.
Applications chosen for funding will receive annual payments for five years. Funding is based on the existing level of conservation combined with additional activities applicable to the operation scheduled throughout the contract. Supplemental payments are also available for participants receiving annual payments who also adopt a resource-conserving crop rotation. The annual payment limitation for an individual participant is $40,000. A legal entity cannot exceed $400,000 for all contracts entered into during any five-year period.
To apply for CSP, producers are encouraged to contact their local NRCS office and complete a self-screening checklist to determine whether the new program is suitable for them and their operation.
A directory of NRCS offices, the CSP checklist and information on other conservation programs are available at www.tn.nrcs.usda.gov.
Published in The Messenger 4.27.10