USDA is reminding Iowa farmers that the timeframe to receive first consideration for Conservation Stewardship Program, or CSP, funding is fast approaching. The sign-up deadline for CSP closes February 7. Producers interested in participating in the program can submit applications to their local NRCS office.
"We feel this year's signup provides extraordinary conservation funding opportunities for Iowa farmers," says Jay Mar, state conservationist for NRCS in Iowa. "CSP is a great way for farmers to enhance conservation activities on their farms."
Participating farmers can earn higher payments
CSP is offered through a continuous signup, but NRCS periodically makes funding selections. Last year, Iowa NRCS obligated more than $3.8 million through 381 contracts covering 175,346 acres. The program emphasizes conservation performance — producers earn higher payments for higher performance. Through CSP, producers install conservation enhancements to make positive changes in soil health, soil erosion, water quality, water quantity, air quality, plant resources, animal resources and energy.
A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help producers determine if the program is suitable for their operation. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, stewardship threshold requirements and payment types.
To access the self-screening checklist or to learn more about CSP, visit the Iowa NRCS website or your local NRCS field office.
Applications are now open for 2014 Iowa Environmental Awards
In other conservation news, it was announced last week that Iowa businesses, organizations and citizens are invited to apply for the Governor's Iowa Environmental Excellence Award. This award recognizes leaders and innovators who protect Iowa's water, land and air. For more information and to download an application, visit the Iowa Department of Natural Resources website.
Iowa businesses, organizations and citizens are invited to apply for the Governor's Iowa Environmental Excellence Awards. To download an application, visit this link; applications are due March 28. These awards are the premier environmental honors in Iowa, recognizing leadership and innovation in the protection of Iowa's water, land and air. Winners will be recognized by Gov. Terry Branstad at a reception in late spring.
Organizations are encouraged to submit their applications electronically to reduce paper waste. Complete instructions are included in the application packet. Awards will be given for Overall Environmental Excellence, along with Special Project Awards in:
•Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy
The awards program is coordinated by the Iowa Governor's Office, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, Iowa Department of Economic Development, Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Department of Public Health and the Iowa Waste Reduction Center. For more information and to download an application, go to www.iowadnr.gov/eeawards or contact Emily Bainter at 515-242-5955 or [email protected].