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PFI: Conservation stewardship deadline Jan. 13

By Staff | Dec 30, 2011

AMES – Practical Farmers of Iowa has announced that Iowa farmers interested in signing up for theConservation Stewardship Program to submit applications to their local USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service officeby Jan. 13, 2012.

Through CSP, NRCS provides financial and technical assistance to farmers who are using conservation practices to enhance soil, water, air and related natural resources on their land.

The program provides improvement of water and soil quality, wildlife habitat enhancements and adoption of conservation activities that address the effects of climate change.

“As a farmer who participates in the Conservation Stewardship Program, I know how important CSP is to farmers,” said Earl Hafner, a PFI member who farms in Guthrie County in westcentral Iowa. “It’s a reward for those already making the extra effort to farm in a way that protects Iowa’s air, soil and water.

“For others, it’s an incentive to switch to more sustainable farming practices.”

Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forestland and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of a Native American tribe.

Practical Farmers of Iowa will send to farmers, at no charge, while supplies last, a new publication authored by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, titled “Farmers’ Guide to the Conservation Stewardship Program.”

Farmers may also access the guide online at sustainableagriculture.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/NSAC-Farmers-Guide-to-CSP-2011.pdf.

An updated CSP self-screening checklist is available to help potential applicants determine if CSP is right for their operation.

The checklist highlights CSP eligibility requirements, contract obligations and potential payments.

It is available from local NRCS offices and on the Iowa NRCS website at www.ia.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/ConservationStewardshipProgram.html.

Practical Farmers of Iowa’s Research and Policy Director Sarah Carlson is also available to answer farmers’ questions about the program. Contact the PFI office at (515) 232.5661 or by email at sarah@practicalfarmers.org.

Founded in 1985, Practical Farmers of Iowa is an open, supportive and diverse organization of farmers and friends of farmers, advancing profitable, ecologically sound and community-enhancing approaches to agriculture through farmer-to-farmer networking, farmer-led investigation and information sharing.

Farmers in the network produce corn, soybeans, beef cattle, hay, fruits and vegetables and other ag products.

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