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KHRT AGRICULTURE NEWS - 12/23/13

    BISMARCK, N.D. - With the deadline less than a month away, farmers and ranchers across North Dakota are being urged to get their applications in for new contracts under the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). According to Traci Bruckner, senior policy associate, Center for Rural Affairs, CSP provides incentives for practices that improve water quality, protect wildlife habitat and enhance soil quality.

    "It's about rewarding those farmers and ranchers that have always made conservation a priority, as well as encouraging them to adopt even, you know, some new conservation practices that provide environmental benefits that reach beyond their farm or ranch," Bruckner said.

    Farmers and ranchers interested in CSP can apply at their local Natural Resources Conservation Service with a signup deadline of Jan. 17.  For those with questions, Bruckner said the Center for Rural Affairs has a Helpline, 402-687-2100, where people can get answers and also give their feedback on CSP and the application process.

    "Once we learn those things and we learn any barriers that they ran into and so forth, that helps us make program improvements," she said. "It helps us influence the Natural Resources Conservation Service, so we can get improvements to the program so it works for the farmers it was designed to serve."

    Nationally, enrollment in CSP over the past five years has reached nearly 60 million acres.


     (Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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