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Conservation stewardship applications due
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced May 1 that applications for the fiscal year 2013 signup of the Conservation Stewardship Program will be due by Friday, May 31. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service will accept slightly more than 12 million acres into the program, according to a National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition press release.
The coalition, which helped develop the program and has followed its progress closely, issued an Information Alert on the 2013 signup. In addition to providing the timeline for the signup and enrollment process, the alert includes basic signup information and describes changes made to the program for this signup, including new conservation enhancements being offered.
This year’s enrollment was delayed for six months while Congress negotiated and passed a final “continuing resolution” to fund government programs through the end of this fiscal year. The delay means that this year’s cutoff date for applications is much later than usual. It also means that the agency will have to move very quickly through the enrollment process in order to finish on time.
The Conservation Stewardship Program is administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service and available on a nationwide basis. The conservation program offers technical and financial assistance to farmers for adopting and maintaining high standards of resource conservation and environmental stewardship. Assistance is geared to both the active management of existing conservation systems and to the implementation of new conservation activities on land in agricultural production.
In addition to information available in the newly released Information Alert, producers will find more detailed information about Conservation Stewardship Program in the Farmers’ Guide to the Conservation Stewardship Program, available for free download at http://bit.ly/bKgcW4. The guide includes step-by-step enrollment guidance, key definitions, and helpful hints.
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