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Agriculture Today

First ranking cut-off period is Jan. 13

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December 21, 2011 | 2,606 views | Post a comment

TEMPLE -- U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist Salvador Salinas announced Friday, Jan. 13, 2012, as the first ranking cut-off period for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

The Conservation Stewardship Program is a voluntary five-year program offered to landowners statewide through continuous signup. Producers interested in the program should submit applications to their local Natural Resources Conservation Service office by the deadline so their applications can be considered during this first ranking period in 2012.

In fiscal year 2011, Texas awarded 206 Conservation Stewardship Program contracts on nearly 500,000 acres with a total of $5.1 million in payments to help farmers and ranchers implement conservation practices that provide public benefits such as cleaner water and better air quality.

Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, rangeland, and nonindustrial forestland, and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of Indian tribes. Individual landowners, legal entities, and Indian tribes may be eligible to apply for the Conservation Stewardship Program assistance. Participants will have the opportunity to receive payments for practices that maintain and improve water and soil quality, as well as enhance wildlife habitat.

A Conservation Stewardship Program self-screening checklist is available to help potential applicants determine if the program is suitable for their operation. The checklist highlights basic information about the Conservation Stewardship Program eligibility requirements, contract obligations, and potential payments. It is available from local Natural Resources Conservation Service offices and on the web page.

As part of the conservation program application process, applicants will work with Natural Resources Conservation Service field personnel to complete the resource inventory using a Conservation Measurement Tool. The conservation tool determines the conservation performance for existing and new conservation activities. The applicant’s conservation performance will be used to determine eligibility, ranking, and payments.

Interested producers can obtain the information from the Texas NRCS website, or contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation field office located off 10th Street (U.S. 181) in Floresville.

For more information, call 830-393-3411.

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