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Press Release

Conservation Stewardship Program Funding Available to Ohio Landowners, Producers

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A farm field.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications from landowners interested in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) to build on existing conservation efforts to increase operational efficiencies and environmental benefits as well

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications from landowners interested in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) to build on existing conservation efforts to increase operational efficiencies and environmental benefits as well as reduce overall input costs. This year, Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) funding is providing additional financial opportunities for select conservation practices and enhancements to increase direct climate mitigation benefits.

Ohio NRCS is increasing the minimum annual payment for agricultural producers participating in CSP from $1,500 to $4,000 starting in fiscal year 2024. The increase addresses challenges faced by small scale, underserved, and urban producers and improves equity in the program by making participation more financially beneficial for smaller operations. The new minimum payment is available for new and renewed CSP contracts, and applications for the program.

Additionally, producers and landowners can take advantage of the ACT NOW process, which immediate approves and obligates applications when the application meets or exceeds a state-determined minimum ranking score. Applicants will experience a targeted, rapid streamlined application and contract approval process. 

“Participating in this program allows landowners to build on their conservation efforts,” Ohio State Conservationist John Wilson said. “Increasing the minimum payment to CSP participants regardless of the size of their operation helps to make participation worthwhile for a larger number of producers.” 

CSP offers technical and financial assistance to help agricultural and forest producers take their conservation efforts to the next level. The program is designed to compensate agricultural and forest producers who agree to increase their level of conservation by adopting additional conservation activities and maintaining their baseline level of conservation. 

Learn more about the CSP application process and eligible land use resource concerns on the Ohio NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program webpage. To learn more about other technical and financial assistance available through NRCS conservation programs, visit Get Started with NRCS or contact your local USDA Service Center.