The next deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) applications to be considered for funding is May 10, 2019. NRCS plans to invest up to $700 million for new enrollments and contract extensions in FY 2019. The 2018 Farm Bill made several changes to this critical conservation program, which helps agricultural producers take the conservation activities on their farm or ranch to the next level.
Changes to the Program
The 2018 Farm Bill authorizes NRCS to accept new CSP enrollments from now until 2023, and it makes some important improvements to the program. These updates include:
NRCS now enrolls eligible, high ranking applications based on dollars rather than acres. For fiscal 2019, 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.
Higher payment rates are now available for certain conservation activities, including cover crops and resource conserving crop rotations.
CSP now provides 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.