Farm Pictured: Zilke Vegetable Farm, Milan, MI
With a February 27 deadline approaching, farmers and ranchers in Michigan have only a few weeks to apply to enroll in the federal Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).
What is CSP?
CSP is the nation’s largest conservation program by acreage and is widely popular among farmers and ranchers. Since the program began in 2009, nearly 70 million acres of farm and ranch land have been enrolled in the program.
CSP rewards producers for the conservation and environmental benefits they produce on their working agricultural lands. All private agricultural land, including cropland, pasture, and rangeland, is eligible to enroll in CSP.
For example, CSP contract-holding farmers can receive payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, rotational grazing, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and the transition to organic farming.
How do I Sign Up?
Details on this year’s program are available for free in an Information Alert published this week by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.
Farmers and ranchers must submit initial applications to their local NRCS office by Feb 27 to have their applications considered for 2015. Applications will be scored and ranked based on farmers’ current and planned on-farm conservation activities, and the applications offering the highest level of environmental benefits will be awarded CSP contracts.
Are you interested? NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT!
Farmers and ranchers interested in enrolling in the program for 2015 have until February 27 to go to their local NRCS office and sign up. The initial sign-up process is easy!
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Did you enroll in CSP in 2011?
If so, then this is the last year of your five-year CSP contract and thus you now have the opportunity to sign-up to renew your participation in the program for 2016-2020. You must apply to renew by March 31. Refer to our Information Alert for further information.
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Thank you for all that you do for Michigan Communities! As always, let me know if you have any questions!