04-26-19 NRCS-CO: Funding Now Available for Improved Conservation Stewardship Program – APPLY TODAY!

NRCS-CO: Funding Now Available for Improved Conservation Stewardship Program – APPLY TODAY!

DENVER, CO – April 26, 2019 –The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is currently accepting applications for its improved Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Applications must be submitted to the local Field Offices by close of business on May 10, 2019. The program offers over 200 conservation activities that allow more opportunities to improve soil health, water quality, plant health, air quality, livestock production, and fish & wildlife habitat. People interested in the additional information can visit the CSP portal at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/csp or can visit their local Field Office. CLICK HERE for locations.

The 2018 Farm Bill authorizes NRCS to accept new CSP enrollments from now until 2023, and it makes some important improvements to the program including enrolling high-ranking applications based on dollars rather than acres. For fiscal 2019, nationally NRCS can spend up to $700 million in the program, which covers part of the cost for producers implementing new conservation activities and maintaining their existing activities. Another change to the program includes specific support for organic and for transitioning to organic production activities and a special grassland conservation initiative for certain producers who have maintained cropland base acres. Higher base payment rates are also available for cover crops and resource conserving crop rotations.

CSP is for agricultural producers and private-land forest managers who are already established conservation stewards. The program can help them to realize higher levels of conservation on these working lands.

Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and pollinator and beneficial insect habitat – all while maintaining active production on their land. CSP also encourages the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and new management techniques such as precision agriculture applications, on-site carbon storage and planting for high carbon sequestration rate, and new soil amendments to improve water quality.