The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the application deadline for the 2013 Conservation Stewardship Program is Friday, June 14.

Applications for CSP are accepted on a continuous basis; however, producers interested in CSP should submit applications to their local NRCS office by the deadline to ensure they are considered for this year’s funding.

“CSP is different from our other financial assistance programs,” said NRCS State Conservationist Juan Hernandez in a news release. “It offers payments to producers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and agree to adopt higher levels of stewardship, while focusing on multiple resource concerns on the entire operation.”

CSP provides many conservation benefits including the improvement of water and soil quality. Many of the CSP enhancements improve soil quality, which helps land become more resilient to extreme weather. Several other improvements are available for producers, including intensive rotational grazing, intercropping, cover crop enhancements, and wildlife-friendly fencing.

Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, nonindustrial private forest land, and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe. A CSP self-screening checklist is available to help potential applicants determine if CSP is suitable for their operation. The checklist highlights basic information about CSP eligibility requirements, stewardship threshold requirements and payment types.

For the checklist or for additional program information, visit the Maine NRCS website at, or contact the local USDA Service Center: at 338-1964.