February 18, 2015

Applications for Conservation Program due February 27

OWENSVILLE,  Ohio (Feb. 2, 2015) – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is opening the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) for new enrollments for federal fiscal year 2015. Starting today through Feb. 27, producers in Brown and Clermont counties interested in participating in the program can submit applications to the NRCS office at the Clermont County Fairgrounds in Owensville or the office in Georgetown.

“The Conservation Stewardship Program provides an incentive for farmers and private forest managers who already practice conservation on their land to achieve even higher levels of stewardship,” said NCRS State Conservationist Terry Cosby. “By addressing multiple resource concerns, such as soil erosion, air and water quality, landowners maintain or increase the productivity of their operations on a more sustainable landscape.”

The program emphasizes conservation performance — producers earn higher payments for higher performance. In CSP, producers install conservation enhancements to improve soil quality, soil erosion, water quality, water quantity, air quality, plant resources, animal resources and energy.

Some popular enhancements used by farmers and ranchers include:
• Using new nozzles that reduce the drift of pesticides, lowering input costs and making sure pesticides are used where they are most needed;
• Introducing cover crops, no-till, and/or conservation crop rotation as management practices on cropland;
• Rotating feeding areas and monitoring key grazing areas to improve grazing management;
• Improving woodlots by removing invasive species such as bush honeysuckle, and creating brush piles for wildlife habitat.

Landowners and operators can enroll in CSP through Feb. 27 to be eligible during 2015. While local NRCS offices accept CSP applications year round, NRCS evaluates applications during announced ranking periods. To be eligible for this year’s enrollment, producers must have their applications submitted to NRCS by the closing date.

Learn more about CSP by contacting Lori Lenhart at 513-732-2181 x 102, or at lori.lenhart@oh.usda.gov, or by visiting the local NRCS office in Clermont (1000 Locust St., Owensville) and Brown County (706 S. Main Street, Georgetown).

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