USDA Increases Minimum Annual Payment for Conservation Stewardship Program to $4,000 for Rhode Island Clients
NRCS is increasing minimum annual payments to farmers and forest landowners through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) from $1,500 to $4,000 in fiscal year 2024.
The increase will address inflation and other challenges faced by small scale, underserved, and urban farmers and improve equity in the program by making participation more financially beneficial for smaller operations. The new minimum payment amount will be available for new CSP applications in Rhode Island, which will be accepted until December 15, 2023, for the first round of fiscal year 2024 funding.
“Increasing the minimum payment to CSP participants regardless of the size of their operation helps to make participation worthwhile for a larger number of farmers and forest landowners,” said R. Phou Vongkhamdy, Rhode Island State Conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). “By broadening the appeal of CSP, we can expand implementation of Inflation Reduction Act funding for conservation programs.”
CSP offers technical and financial assistance to help farmers and forest landowners take their conservation efforts to the next level. The program compensates agricultural and forest producers who agree to increase their level of conservation by adopting additional conservation activities and maintaining their baseline level of conservation.
Examples of CSP enhancements that are suitable for small scale and urban farmers to adopt include:
- Planting multi-species cover crops
- Mulching with natural materials
- Establishing pollinator habitats
- Soil health crop rotation
For more information about available assistance, contact your local NRCS or Conservation District Office.