The first participants of the Conservation Stewardship Program with contracts approved in fiscal year 2010, have from July 11 until Sept. 12 to file an application to renew their contracts and make decisions on additional conservation activities that will benefit priority natural resource issues.
CSP is offered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service and is the Farm Bill program that helps farmers and ranchers take conservation investments to the next level.
About 20,000 CSP contracts nationwide are reaching the end of their initial five-year contract period and may be renewed for an additional five years where participants agree to take additional conservation measures.
The program provides opportunities for farmers and ranchers who are already established conservation stewards, helping them improve water quality, soil health and wildlife habitat.
“CSP farmers are conservation leaders and go the extra mile to conserve our nation’s resources,” NRCS State Conservationist Roylene Rides at the Door said. “The 2014 Farm Bill continued that strong commitment and heightened the program’s focus on generating conservation benefits.”
Since CSP began in 2009, more than 58 million acres have been enrolled in the program – an area the size of Indiana and Wisconsin combined. CSP participants boost their operations’ conservation benefits by installing new conservation activities that make positive changes in soil, water, air and wildlife habitat.
“Over the past five years, this program has allowed farmers and ranchers to improve their farm management systems, enhance data collection used to make operational decisions, and adopt many new conservation technologies. It has been a worthwhile program for the participants and the conservation planners who assist them,” Rides at the Door said.
To learn about technical and financial assistance available through CSP, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/GetStarted, the Conservation Stewardship webpage or local USDA service center. For more on the 2014 Farm Bill, visit www.nrcs.usda.gov/FarmBill.