Conservation Stewardship Program Rewards Organic Farming and Transition: Registration Extended to March 13th!

CSP rewards producers for the conservation and environmental benefits they produce on their working agricultural lands; all private agricultural land, including cropland, pasture, and rangeland, is eligible to enroll in CSP.  Additionally, the variety of conservation practices and program rules have been expanded this year to better represent a more diverse type of applicant in accordance with the new 2014 Farm Bill. Farmers from all size operations and raising crops of any variety are encouraged to apply.  CSP contract-holding farmers can receive payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, rotational grazing, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and the transition to organic farming. Of the 71 enhancements from which producers can select, 35 have a high likelihood of adoption by organic producers or those who are interested in transitioning to organic.  See the  Organic Conservation Stewardship Program for a list of activities and enhancements that qualify.

The process for applying for CSP is simple. Checkout the steps and timeline below and get started today!

The Process and Timeline for Enrolling in CSP 
Step 1: Complete a short and simple application form at your local NRCS. This is due by March 13th. 
Step 2: Fill out Conservation Measument Tool (CMT) form at your local NRCS office. 
Step 3: Farm Site Visit and Contract Preparation. Within a month or two of the CMT completion, NRCS will complete an on-farm verification visit to each farm that ranks high enough to be enrolled in the program this year. After the farm site visit, you will work with NRCS staff to develop a CSP plan and contract, which includes a schedule for new enhancement implementation and a payment schedule. The first annual payment for a five-year contract awarded in this round will be made on or after October 1, 2016, and then every October 1 thereafter for the five years of the CSP contract.