Stewardship to add over $7 million annually to South Dakota economy through 2014 |

Stewardship to add over $7 million annually to South Dakota economy through 2014

HURON, SD – South Dakota State Conservationist Janet Oertly of Huron, SD, announced the results from the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) 2010 first signup for South Dakota.

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) June 30, 2010 final report reveals South Dakota sits fifth in the nation for eligible acres entered in the program with 688,366 acres of cropland, pastureland, rangeland and non-industrial private forestland enrolled.

Administered by NRCS, the CSP will be adding over $7.1 million annually to South Dakota’s economy from this first signup. “CSP is an opportunity tailor-made for our conservation-minded ranchers and farmers on working farms, ranches, and forest lands to continue to achieve even higher levels of conservation stewardship,” said Oertly. Through CSP, contract holders get technical assistance and funding assistance for installing new conservation practices and adopting additional activities, and improving, maintaining, and managing existing activities.

Nationally, 10,630 contracts were obligated enrolling over 12.6 million total acres. “What this report means is…right now in South Dakota, there are 261 contracts with farmers and ranchers who are outstanding conservationists,” said Oertly. “We’re proud to be working with producers who are good stewards of South Dakota’s natural resources – soil, water, air, plants and animals.

Authorized in the 2008 farm bill, CSP offers payments to producers who maintain a high level of conservation on their land and who agree to adopt higher levels of stewardship. Eligible lands include cropland, pastureland, rangeland and non-industrial forestland. Individuals, entities, and Indian Tribes operating agricultural or private non-industrial private forestland may be eligible for the program.

“With summer in full swing, time is at a premium in agriculture,” said Oertly. However, she tells producers “Since the 2010 signups are completed, farmers and ranchers are advised to start preparing for the next funding opportunity which could happen with a signup this fall.” CSP is a continuous sign-up program so producers may contact their local NRCS office for an application at any time. “The CSP self-screening checklist is available to determine if the new program is right for you and your business,” said Oertly. Check with your local NRCS offices or on the NRCS Web site at

“Not only is CSP good for the producer and the resources,” said Oertly, “But CSP’s economic impact over the life of the contracts is significant when agricultural operations can be more sustainable which in turn keeps families on the farm, helps local small businesses, creates jobs as well as additional tax revenue in rural areas.

This year, NRCS is celebrating 75 years of helping people help the land, stated Oertly. Since 1935, the NRCS conservation delivery system has advanced a unique partnership with state and local governments and private landowners delivering conservation based on specific, local conservation needs, while accommodating state and national interests. “The success of this first signup shows the strength of our historical partnership with private landowners,” she said.

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