The cutoff period for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) applications in Georgia to be considered for funding this year is Tuesday, 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 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.
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 that fact that NRCS now enrolls eligible, high-ranking applications based on dollars rather than acres. Higher payment rates are also now available under the 2018 Farm Bill for certain conservation activities, including cover crops and resource conserving crop rotations. CSP 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.
While CSP is offered in Georgia through continuous sign-up, to be considered for funding this year applications must be in by June 30. For additional information, contact your local service center or go to the GA NRCS website.