Accessing the New Conservation Stewardship Program
NCAT program specialist
with help from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Published December 4, 2013: updated February 24, 2015
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) passed in the 2008 Farm Bill was made available to farmers in the fall of 2009. This program rewards farmers and ranchers for current conservation practices and for putting in place additional new conservation practices and enhancements over a 5 year contract period. Depending on your desire to maintain and make new conservation efforts, this program can provide up to $200,000 in support over five years. The program allows all farmers and ranchers to apply at any time, but to receive funding in the current 2015 federal fiscal year application should be STARTED by March 13, 2015. Thus, if you wish to take advantage of this program and have not yet applied then you should begin the application as soon as possible.
If you are interested in exploring this program to expand conservation efforts that often can lead to improved farm sustainability and profitability in 2015, it is critical at least start the application by March 13, 2015. You can always halt the process of application at any time, but starting the process before March 13, 2015 at least keeps open your options.
The recently updated ATTRA publication: Federal Conservation Resources for Sustainable Farming and Ranching can also be useful for background on federal conservation programs.
In addition call the ATTRA toll free hot-line number at 1-800-346-9140 (English) and 1-800-411-3222 (Spanish) if you need any additional help or further information about accessing this program.
This page was last updated on: February 24, 2015