Temple, Texas, January 16, 2024 – NRCS is reminding agricultural producers and forestry landowners and land managers to submit applications to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) county office by Jan. 26, 2024, for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP Classic and CSP-Inflation Reduction Act [IRA]). NRCS accepts applications year-round, but any applications received after Jan. 26, 2024, will be considered for future CSP application sign ups.
CSP helps farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners to build on their existing conservation efforts while strengthening their operation. CSP participants earn an annual payment for five years which enables them to achieve a greater level on conservation and stewardship. Farmers, ranchers or forestry landowners or land managers looking to improve grazing conditions, increase crop resiliency, or develop wildlife habitat, NRCS can custom design a CSP plan to help meet land management goals. CSP-IRA provides an opportunity for producers to adopt climate-smart practices and enhancements.
CSP offers technical and financial assistance to help agricultural and forest producers take their conservation efforts to the next level. The program is designed to compensate agricultural and forest producers who agree to increase their level of conservation by adopting additional conservation activities and maintaining their baseline level of conservation.
Examples of CSP enhancements suitable for being adopted by smaller scale and urban producers include:
- Planting multi-species cover crops
- Mulching with natural materials
- Establishing pollinator habitats
- Soil health crop rotation
USDA is increasing the minimum annual payment for agricultural producers participating in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) from $1,500 to $4,000 in fiscal year 2024. The increase addresses challenges faced by small scale and urban producers and improves equity in the program by making participation more financially beneficial for smaller operations. The increased minimum payment is available for new and renewed CSP contracts.
For more information about assistance available, contact your local USDA Service Center.