COLUMBUS — The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently extended the deadline to apply for the Conservation Security Program to May 30.
Farmers in Ohio’s Sandusky Watershed, encompassing 12 counties in northern Ohio, are encouraged to take advantage of this extension. These counties include: Crawford, Erie, Hancock, Hardin, Huron, Marion, Ottawa, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Wood and Wyandot.
“This extension will allow two additional weeks to gather the proper documentation and make an appointment for an interview with the NRCS staff,” said Terry Cosby, Natural Resources Conservation Service state conservationist.
The Conservation Security Program, a voluntary program, encourages and rewards producers who practice outstanding stewardship on working agricultural land by offering financial incentives that increase with the level of conservation effort.
In the Sandusky Watershed, the average farm practicing the highest level of conservation could qualify for payments as high as $15,000 per year for a five-year period. Payments may be more or less depending on farm size and may be subject to annual enhancement and contract payment caps.
This may be the only sign-up for many years available to farmers in the Sandusky Watershed.
As outlined in the 2002 farm bill, the Conservation Security Program is offered on a rotational basis nationwide, with all watersheds in the country scheduled to offer the program at some point in an eight-year time frame, beginning with 2004.
To learn more about the Conservation Security Program, visit
www.oh.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/csp_2/csp_home_2008.html or contact your local USDA Service Center.
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