USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Louisiana Announces Sign-Up Period for Conservation Stewardship Program and renewal period for expiring CSP Contracts
Published 10:30 am Monday, March 1, 2021
Alexandria- The next deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) applications to be considered for funding in fiscal year (FY) 2021 is March 31, 2021. 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.
“CSP continues to be a very effective tool for private landowners working to achieve their conservation and management goals,” said Chad Kacir, State Conservationist for NRCS in Louisiana. “I encourage producers who may be interested in taking their conservation to the next level to submit an application as soon as possible.”
While applications are accepted throughout the year, interested producers should submit applications to their local NRCS office by March 31, 2021, to ensure their applications are considered for 2021 funding.
In addition, participants with existing CSP contracts expiring on Dec. 31, 2021 can access the benefits of the program through an option to renew their contracts for an additional five years if they agree to adopt additional activities to achieve higher levels of conservation on their lands.
NRCS will mail contract renewal notification letters to all participants whose contracts expire in 2021, which will contain instructions on how to apply for renewal.
Applications to renew expiring contracts are due by March 31, 2021.
About the Program
CSP is offered in Louisiana through continuous sign-ups. CSP is for working lands including cropland, pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest land and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of a tribe.
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 agriculture 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.
Some of these benefits of CSP include:
· Improved cattle gains per acre;
· Increased crop yields;
· Decreased inputs;
· Wildlife population improvements; and
· Better resilience to weather extremes.
For additional information about CSP, contact your local USDA service center.