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Conservation Stewardship Program helping farmers and ranchers during pandemic

Published: Sep. 3, 2020 at 4:59 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - During the pandemic, there is continuing concern that producers can’t manage conservation and stay afloat. Luckily there is a program to help.

For almost two decades, the conservation stewardship program or CSP has helped farmers and ranchers both technically and financially achieve conservation goals.

“If they have a particular resource concern or there’s a practice they want to try, this is a great way to get that technical assistance,” policy assistant at the Center for Rural Affairs Kate Hansen said. “Or get some financial assistance if that’s kind of a barrier they’re trying to get over.”

Contracts are five years in length with the option to re-enroll during the fifth year. Officials say conservation affects everything, so they know by helping producers, they are helping the greater community. Nebraska is the number one state nationwide for re-enrolling acres in CSP.

Hansen said in 2018, more than six million acres in Nebraska were actively enrolled in CSP. In a recent Center for Rural Affairs survey of CSP users across the Midwest, 84% of respondents said they were satisfied or highly satisfied with the program.

Since CSP is a federal program, Congress authorizes funding. Payment levels for farmers and ranchers vary based on specifics such as their contract and their practices. If you are interested in applying for this program, contact your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office for more information.

Check out the facts sheet written by Kate Hansen if you would like to learn more about CSP.

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