AMHERST, MA – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that the next deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) applications to be considered for funding in fiscal year 2020 is Mar. 20, 2020. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) plans to invest up to $725 million nationwide for new enrollments and contract extensions in fiscal year 2020.
“CSP continues to be a very effective tool for private landowners working to achieve their conservation and management goals,” said Dan Wright, NRCS Massachusetts State Conservationist. “It is the largest conservation program in the United States with more than 70 million acres of productive agricultural and forest land enrolled.”
While applications are accepted throughout the year, interested producers should submit applications to their local NRCS office by Mar. 20, 2020, to ensure their applications are considered for 2020 funding.
The 2018 Farm Bill made several changes to this critical conservation program, which helps agricultural producers take the conservation activities on their farm to the next level. NRCS is authorized to accept new CSP enrollments from now until 2023. Some important improvements to the program include:
CSP is offered through continuous sign-ups. The program provides many benefits including increased crop yields, decreased inputs, wildlife habitat improvements and increased resilience to weather extremes. CSP is for working lands including cropland, pastureland, nonindustrial private forest land and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of a tribe.
For more information and to apply, contact your local USDA-NRCS office: