Agricultural producers wanting to enhance current conservation efforts are encouraged to apply for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Applications for CSP are accepted year round, however, applications for the current funding period must be received by March 2, 2018. Through CSP, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps private landowners build their business while implementing conservation practices that help ensure the sustainability of their entire operation.
NRCS encourages all producers to visit their local NRCS office and submit applications for eligibility by March 2.
“CSP is an outstanding opportunity for agricultural producers, forest landowners and federally recognized Tribes to enhance the sustainability of their ongoing conservation efforts across the land,” said NRCS Texas State Conservationist Salvador Salinas. “This program and its suite of conservation practices is geared toward long-term benefits. Producers just need to sign up by the deadline to be eligible for funding consideration. Conservation planning decisions in collaboration with NRCS staff can be done after that date.”
NRCS recently made several updates to methods and program software that help producers better evaluate their conservation options, determine whether they are meeting stewardship thresholds, while also enabling producers to see potential conservation payment scenarios early in the process.
Through CSP, eligible participants earn payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities such as cover crops, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and pollinator habitat – all while maintaining active agriculture production on their land.
Some CSP benefits include:
- Improved cattle gains per acre;
- Increased crop yields;
- Decreased inputs;
- Wildlife population improvements; and
- Better resilience to weather extremes.
Producers interested in CSP can contact their local USDA service center.