Conservation Stewardship Program signup is underway

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Farmers and ranchers interested in enrolling in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) have until May 10 to submit paperwork.

CSP is a national voluntary stewardship incentives program administered by Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). CSP is designed to reward farmers, ranchers, and foresters for maintaining existing conservation, as well as for the adoption of additional conservation measures on their land. The program pays producers for continuing and expanding conservation efforts that support natural resource priorities such as clean water, better soil management, improved habitat, energy efficiency, and others.

“CSP offers farmers and ranchers an important pathway to enhancing stewardship of land, soil, and water resources,” said Anna Johnson, policy manager with the Center for Rural Affairs. “The current signup window offers a valuable opportunity to enhance stewardship for a whole operation.”

To be eligible, applicants must prove they meet a conservation threshold on their operations. Contract duration is five years, and, in many cases, contracts may be renewed for an additional five years.

“The process to indicate interest in enrolling in CSP is easy,” Johnson said. “Farmers and ranchers only need to submit one form to NRCS, then work with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to establish a farm number, if they don’t already have one.”

Under CSP, farmers and ranchers work with local NRCS staff to write a conservation plan for their operations. Together, they plan conservation practices to bring their operation to a higher level of stewardship while keeping acres in production.

Interested farmers and ranchers should contact their local NRCS office to learn more. Information can be found at nrcs.usda.gov.

Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.

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