The cutoff period for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) applications in Georgia to be considered for funding this year has been extended until June 30. Through CSP, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps farmers, ranchers and forest landowners earn payments for expanding conservation activities while maintaining agricultural production on their land.
CSP also encourages adoption of new technologies and management techniques. The previously announced cutoff had been set for Friday, May 29, but this extension allows more time for new applicants and producers who were previously enrolled in CSP and did not have their renewal application approved, due to limited funds, a chance to compete for funding through the CSP Classic sign-up process.
“We know private landowners are working hard to achieve their conservation and management goals through CSP,” said Terrance O. Rudolph, NRCS state conservationist in Georgia. “We want to give them every opportunity to participate in the largest conservation program in the United States that has more than 70 million acres of productive agricultural and forest land enrolled.”
Changes in the 2018 Farm Bill authorize NRCS to accept new CSP enrollments from now until 2023 and makes some improvements to the program. These updates include:
- NRCS now enrolls eligible, high-ranking applications based on dollars rather than acres. Higher payment rates are now available under the 2018 Farm Bill for certain conservation activities, including cover crops and resource conserving crop rotations. It also rrovides 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 is offered in Georgia through continuous signups. The program 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 a tribe.
For additional information, contact your local service center or go to the GA NRCS website.