The signup deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) applications to be considered for 2019 funding is Friday, May 10. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is planning to invest up to $700 million for both new enrollments and contract extensions in fiscal year 2019.
The 2018 Farm Bill did make several changes to CSP including high ranking applications are now based on dollars rather than acres. Higher payment rates are also now available for certain conservation activities, including cover crops and resource conserving crop rotations. CSP also now provides specific support for organic and for transitioning to organic production activities and a special grassland conservation initiative for certain producers who have maintained cropland base acres. CSP provides many benefits including increased crop yields, decreased inputs, wildlife habitat improvements and increased resilience to weather extremes. CSP is for working lands including cropland, pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest land and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe.
And while applications are accepted on a continuous basis, producers interested in taking advantage of 2019 funding need to submit applications May 10. For more information about CSP, contact your local USDA service center.