Through CSP, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps private landowners build their business while implementing conservation practices that help ensure the sustainability of their entire operation. NRCS plans to enroll up to 10 million acres in CSP in 2018.
While applications for CSP are accepted year round, applications must be received by March 2, 2018 to be considered for this funding period.
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 and forest management on their land. CSP also encourages the adoption of cutting-edge technologies and new management techniques to address or enhance resource concerns; such as precision agriculture applications, on-site carbon storage and planting for high carbon sequestration rate, and new soil amendments to improve water quality.
NRCS recently made several updates to the program to help producers better evaluate their conservation options and the benefits to their operations and natural resources. New methods and software for evaluating applications help producers see up front why they are or are not meeting stewardship thresholds, and allow them to pick practices and enhancements that work for their conservation objectives. These tools also enable producers to see potential payment scenarios for conservation early in the process. Lands enrolled in the CSP must be owned or operated under the control of the participant for a 5 year period, meet eligibility requirements for Farm Bill Programs by having records of operation filed at the FSA office, and adopt improvements or enhancements to their existing conservation management system. Private landowners have been able to take their operations to the next level of production and conservation by implementing enhancements and practices offered through CSP.
Producers interested in CSP are recommended to contact the local USDA-NRCS office at 1024 Mill Street in Pulaski for more information.
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