Some 912 Wisconsin farmers were the first in the state to enroll in the then-new USDA Conservation Stewardship Program back in 2010. Since those five-year contracts are coming to an end, those pioneer enrollees may now renew their contracts, adding more conservation activities to improve natural resources. Contracts may be renewed starting July 11 until Sept. 12 this year, to extend payments through 2019.
CSP is offered by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and is the Farm Bill program that helps farmers and woodland owners take conservation to the next level. The program provides payment opportunities for farmers who are already established conservation stewards, helping them improve water quality, soil health and wildlife habitat.
"CSP farmers in Wisconsin are conservation leaders and go the extra mile to conserve our nation's resources," NRCS State Conservationist Jimmy Bramblett said. "The 2014 Farm Bill continued that strong commitment and heightened the program's focus on generating conservation benefits."
Since CSP began in 2010, more than 2,200 farmers and 830,000 acres in Wisconsin have enrolled in the program. CSP participants boost their operations' conservation benefits by installing new conservation activities that improve soil health, water quality, and wildlife habitat.
"This program allows landowners to reach the next level of conservation and opens the door to trying out new conservation activities," Bramblett said.
CSP is also open to new enrollments for 2015. To apply now for CSP, or to learn about technical and financial assistance available through NRCS, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted, the Conservation Stewardship webpage or local USDA service center. For more on the 2014 Farm Bill, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/FarmBill.
Source: Wisconsin NRCS