NRCS Announces Deadlines for Conservation Stewardship Program Contracts
LIBERTY, March 2, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that $150 million in funding is available for agricultural producers through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), USDA’s largest conservation program that helps producers voluntarily improve the health and productivity of private and Tribal working lands. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) plans to add an estimated 10 million acres to the rolls of CSP during fiscal year 2016.
NRCS accepts applications for CSP throughout the year, but producers should submit applications by March 31, 2016 to local USDA service centers to ensure they are considered for enrollment in 2016.
Participants with existing CSP contracts that will expire on Dec.31, 2016, have the 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. Applications to renew are also due by March 31, 2016.
NRCS also makes CSP available to producers as an additional opportunity to participate in regional landscape-level conservation efforts including the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative, Longleaf Pine Initiative and Ogallala Aquifer Initiative.
Texas NRCS State Conservationist Salvador Salinas said “Texas is once again able to offer CSP on three of the four approved national landscape initiative areas. Landowners across these initiative areas will further enhance the habitat of these valuable working lands through additional conservation enhancement efforts. NRCS and landowner commitments to CSP remain strong with more than 6.3 million acres currently enrolled in the program in Texas.”