Land conservation program's application deadline is May 31

Farmers and forestland owners in Connecticut should submit applications for the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Conservation Stewardship Program by May 31 for consideration for this year’s funding.

Applications are also due by May 31 for the NRCS’ grassland reserve program, which offers landowners the opportunity to protect, restore, and enhance grasslands on their property, and for its Wetlands Reserve Program.

The conservation stewardship program allows producers to go the extra mile in conserving natural resources while also maintaining or increasing the productivity of their operations.

“CSP is different than our other financial assistance programs,” Connecticut NRCS State Conservationist Lisa Coverdale said in a news release. “It offers payments to producers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and agree to adopt higher levels of stewardship. It’s about conservation activities on the entire operation focusing on multiple resource concerns.”

Many of the CSP enhancements improve soil quality, which helps land become more resilient to extreme weather. Several other improvements are available for producers, including intensive rotational grazing, intercropping and wildlife-friendly fencing.

A self-screening checklist is available to help producers determine if the program is suitable for their operation. The list highlights information about eligibility requirements, stewardship threshold requirements and payment types. The information can be found at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/financial/csp/.

For information, call the USDA Field Office in Norwich at (860) 887-3604.

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