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USDA sets deadline for Conservation Stewardship applications

EAST LANSING — Farmers and private non-industrial forest owners wanting to enroll in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Conservation Stewardship Program must submit applications by March 5 to be eligible for the current selection period. The Conservation Stewardship Program is for farmers and private forest owners who incorporate conservation practices into their operations and want to expand on those efforts.

Through the Conservation Stewardship Program, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service helps farmers and forest landowners earn payments for implementing new conservation activities while maintaining agricultural production on their land. CSP also encourages adoption of new technologies and management techniques.

The Conservation Stewardship Program is offered in Michigan through continuous signups. The program provides many benefits including increased crop yields, decreased inputs, wildlife habitat improvements and increased resilience to weather extremes. The program is for working lands including cropland, pastureland, nonindustrial private forest land and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an American Indian tribe. The Conservation Stewardship Program is available statewide with additional funding targeted to northwest Michigan through the Tribal Stream and Michigan Fruitbelt Collaborative, a project funded through the USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program.

For additional information about the Conservation Stewardship Program, contact your local service center. USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. Producers can also apply online using the farmers.gov portal. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with NRCS, Farm Service Agency, or any other Service Center agency should call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment.

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