The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced it is accepting Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) renewal applications through March 31 for contracts set to end this year.
Participants with existing CSP contracts that close on December 31, 2021, can benefit from recent program changes by renewing their contracts for an additional five years if they agree to adopt additional conservation practices on their land.
“In the fiscal year 2020, NRCS helped enhance more than 120,000 acres of land enrolled in CSP in Georgia,” said Terrance O. Rudolph, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) state conservationist in Georgia. “CSP continues to prove its worth by helping farmers and ranchers advance their business operations through conservation enhancements on their land that sustain the natural resources that improve productivity and their bottom lines.”
CSP is for working lands, including cropland, pastureland, rangeland, non-industrial forestland as well as tribal lands. The program helps producers build on existing conservation efforts while strengthening their operations. CSP provides many benefits, including increased crop yields, decreased inputs, wildlife habitat improvements, and resiliency to weather extremes. It also encourages the adoption of new technologies and innovative management techniques.
Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, buffer strips, pollinators, and beneficial insect habitat and soil health activities while maintaining active agricultural production on their land.
Applications to renew expiring contracts are due by March 31. Producers interested in contract renewals or applying for CSP for the first time should visit the CSP webpage or contact their local USDA service center.