USDA Announces Conservation Stewardship Program Sign-Up Period

USDA has announced that producers interested in enrolling in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) should submit applications to their local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office by May 10, 2019, to ensure their applications are considered for 2019 funding. NRCS plans to invest up to $700 million for new enrollments and contract extensions in fiscal year 2019. The 2018 Farm Bill made several changes to this critical conservation program. Among them are the following: NRCS now enrolls eligible, high-ranking applications based on dollars rather than acres. Additionally, higher payment rates are now available for certain conservation activities, including cover crops and resource-conserving crop rotations. Also, CSP now provides specific support for organic and for transitioning-to-organic production activities and a special grassland conservation initiative for producers who have maintained cropland base acres.