Iowa farmers who signed up for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) in 2018 have until April 15 to apply to renew their contract for another five years. All 2018 CSP contracts expire on Dec. 31, 2022. Contract holders can visit their local USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office to complete the required renewal process.
According to Rubyana Neely, CSP coordinator for NRCS in Iowa, 505 CSP contracts will expire at the end of the year which help treat natural resource concerns on about 250,800 Iowa acres.
Last year, 171 Iowa farmers and landowners renewed contracts. Those contract holders are receiving an average of about $12,000 annually in CSP payments through NRCS to adopt additional activities to achieve higher levels of conservation on their lands.
Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, buffer strips, pollinator and beneficial insect habitat, and soil health building activities – all while maintaining active agricultural production on their land.
The largest conservation program in the United States, CSP is for working lands. “Thousands of people have voluntarily enrolled in the program because it helps them enhance natural resources and improve their business operation,” said Neely.
Producers interested in contract renewals or applying for CSP for the first time should contact their local NRCS office (http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=ia) or visit www.ia.nrcs.usda.gov for more information.