USDA urges Ag Producers to apply for Conservation Stewardship Program

Jason Bennett
CPS Tangent

I received an email from the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) late last week with information regarding a Conservation Stewardship Program.  I am no expert on this program, nor do I agree/disagree with it, but a lot of the qualifications for this program are things that you as growers are doing already.  I thought I would pass on the information and you could look over it and do what you please with it. 

Here is the email I received follow the links for more information:

Contact Information: Jon Samson
                                202-457-0825
                                Jon@aradc.org
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that agriculture producers are invited to apply for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). CSP offers payments to producers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and who agree to adopt higher levels of stewardship. Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, rangeland and non-industrial forestland. The deadline to be considered for the next ranking and funding period is June 11, 2010.
Under the interim final rule published July 29, 2009, eligible producers may submit an application to enroll eligible land in CSP on a continuous basis. Producers are encouraged to apply for CSP now to ensure their applications will be considered during the next funding and ranking period. However, they can make their final decision to participate in the program once the CSP final rule is issued. The final rule will establish the policies and procedures for the program.
CSP offers payments for adding conservation practices and maintaining and managing existing conservation practices, such as:
·         Use of drift reducing nozzles, low pressures, lower boom height, and adjuvants to reduce pesticide drift
·         GPS, targeted spray application (SmartSprayer), or other chemical application electronic control technology
·         Precision application technology to apply nutrients
·         High level Integrated Pest Management to reduce pesticide environmental risk
 Opportunities are available through the USDA’s CSP and to contact the local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service office to apply. To access the complete CSP Conservation Activity List click here. For additional information about CSP click here or contact ARA at (202) 457-0825 or email Jon@aradc.org.