MADISON, Wis. (AP) -

The federal government is extending the deadline for farmers and ranchers to sign up for its Conservation Stewardship Program.

The voluntary program provides financial and technical help to eligible farmers and ranchers who conserve and enhance soil, water, air and related natural resources on their land.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that farmers would have until June 14 to sign up. The original deadline was Friday.

The stewardship program is run by the Agriculture Department's Natural Resources Conservation Service. Participants receive annual payments for installing and adopting conservation activities and improving, maintaining and managing existing activities.

More than 39,000 farmers and ranchers participated between 2009 and 2012. They enrolled over 50 million acres of farm and ranch land and received conservation payments worth $680 million a year.