For farmers and ranchers eligible to renew for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), a national application deadline of March 31 has been set.
Administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), CSP offers technical and financial assistance to help producers enhance conservation on their operations. In 2020, more than 6 million acres nationwide were actively enrolled in the program.
Contracts are five years in length, with the option to renew. Contracts beginning in 2017 are now in their fifth and final year, and are therefore eligible for renewal. The March 31 deadline also applies to those who enrolled in 2015 and extended their contracts through 2021.
“CSP is a valuable resource for farmers and ranchers across the country,” said Kate Hansen, policy assistant for the Center for Rural Affairs, “I encourage anyone who is eligible to renew their contract to consider doing so, by talking with your local NRCS staff about how you might enhance your existing conservation practices.”
While the application deadline has been set, this does not mean that the entire application process needs to be completed by that date.
“This initial deadline is only for two forms that get the ball rolling on your application— the CPA 1200, which is a relatively painless three-page form, and the CPA 1248, a one-page form that expresses your intent to renew your contract,” Hansen said.
Farmers and ranchers eligible to renew should reach out to their local NRCS office as soon as possible. They are also welcome to reach out to the Center for Rural Affairs with, at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com with questions.