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Conservation Sign-up Underway

May 14, 2010

DES MOINES, Iowa - The sign-up period for this fiscal year's Conservation Stewardship program has started for Iowa farmers and ranchers. The United States Department of Agriculture administers the Program, and year-in and year-out many farmers and ranchers who already apply conservation practices are helped by it.

Traci Bruckner, with the Center for Rural Affairs, says farmers, ranchers and others should call the Center's Farm Bill Helpline to learn more about the program and the application process.

"The idea behind the Conservation Stewardship Program is about rewarding those farmers and ranchers who have always made conservation part of their operation. Oftentimes those efforts haven't been rewarded with a commodity program. We typically rewarded for growing a certain commodity and growing a lot of it."

Bruckner says the sign-up lasts just a few weeks, so there is isn't much time to sign up. She says it's a program that helps existing conservation programs thrive.

"If farmers and ranchers want to get under the program this year, they have to have their application in by June 11th, and they need to go to their local Natural Resource Conservation Service office."

This program pays producers for clean water, better soil management, improved habitat, energy efficiency, and other natural resource benefits to go beyond the farm.

The hot line number is 402-687-2100.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - IA