Deadline here for farmers to apply for conservation dollars


By Stephanie Carson

Special to The SUN

Time is quickly running out for some Colorado farmers who want to continue receiving federal assistance to improve soil, water, air and habitat quality on their land.

Since the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) was launched five years ago, more than 60 million farm acres nationwide have been enrolled in the program through the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Sophia Kruszewski, a policy specialist for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, said the CSP isn’t about helping farmers avoid environmental harm, but rather about enhancing and improving what conservation-minded farmers already are doing.

The CSP, which was created in the 2008 Farm Bill, has been reauthorized and strengthened with the latest version. The roughly 20,000 farmers with five-year contracts up for renewal must do so by Sept. 12 through the nearest NRCS office.

Kruszewski said new farmers interested in the program can submit an application to enroll at any time, with NRCS collecting and ranking the applications once per year, typically in February.

More information on CSP is available online at