Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain said the ranking period for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) has been extended to January 21, 2011.
Producers interested in CSP should submit applications to their local NRCS Office by the deadline so that their applications can be considered during the first ranking period of 2011.
The program, authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill, offers payments to producers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and agree to adopt higher levels of stewardship.
Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, rangeland and nonindustrial forestland. Producers are encouraged to apply for CSP throughout the year to be considered for current and future application ranking periods. Those producers who apply by Jan. 21, 2011, may be eligible for current available funding.
“CSP provides benefits for rural communities through the protection and preservation of critical natural resources,” Strain said. "Producers who are making conservation a priority for their operations should apply and work with the CSP to expand the scale of conservation on their land.”
CSP is offered in all 50 states, and the Pacific and Caribbean areas through continuous sign-ups. The program provides many conservation benefits including improvement of water and soil quality, wildlife habitat enhancements and adoption of conservation activities that address the effects of climate change.
A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help producers determine if CSP is suitable for their operation. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, contracts obligations and potential payments. It is available from local NRCS offices or online at www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/new_CSP/CSP.html
Sibelius and Health care
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today released a new analysis showing that, without the Affordable Care Act, up to 2 million non-elderly Louisiana residents who have some type of pre-existing health condition, like heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis or cancer, would be at risk of losing health insurance when they need it most, or be denied coverage altogether. Across the country, up to 129 million Americans would be at risk.
Sibelius’s comments are in reaction to the Republican repeal on the healthcare law passed last year.
Joint Legislative Committee on Capital Outlay Friday, January 28, 2011 9:30 am