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Conservation Stewardship Program deadline nears

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced a June 11, 2010 deadline to receive applications under the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).

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"This is the second sign up for the program, which is available to all landowners of crop, pasture, and forestland," said Russell Kleinschmidt, NRCS district conservationist. "It is a great opportunity for those who have already installed conservation practices or are managing their land with conservation in mind."

CSP is a voluntary program that encourages producers to maintain existing conservation activities and adopt additional practices on their operations. The program is popular for producers who go the extra mile with conservation and sustainable operations -- whether they've accomplished goals on their own, with other conservation partners, or through USDA and NRCS programs.

"Farmers and landowners should stop in soon to discuss the program and fill out application forms to meet the June 11 deadline and program eligibility guidelines," Kleinschmidt said.

If an application is selected for funding annual payments will be made for five years. The annual payment rate will depend on the results of a Conservation Measurement Tool and land use. A supplemental payment for adopting a resource-conserving crop rotation will also be available.

"The CMT is an interview process that documents current and future conservation and management activities on the land," explained Kleinschmidt.

To learn more about the CSP call the local NRCS office at (218) 631-3195, e-mail russell.kleinschmidt@mn.usda.gov, or stop into the NRCS office one mile north of the stoplights in Wadena on U.S. Highway 71 at 4 Alfred St. NE. Also visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/new_csp/.

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