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Press Release

NRCS Announces FY2024 Application Batching Date for CSP, EQIP, RCPP

Installing alternative watering stations for use by livestock excluded from streams and creeks is a popular NRCS conservation practice.  (Photo by John Markon, Virginia NRCS)

Installing alternative watering stations for use by livestock excluded from streams and creeks is a popular NRCS conservation practice.  (Photo by John Markon, Virginia NRCS)

RICHMOND, Va., September 12, 2023 – The Virginia Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is announcing Oct. 13, 2023, as the batching date for applications submitted for Fiscal Year 2024 funding through either the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) or Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).

NRCS uses batching dates for CSP, EQIP and RCPP (as opposed to a single deadline) as a tool to review, approve and fund applications at several points throughout the year. This ensures that farmers, graziers and forest landowners looking to establish or enhance conservation practices on their land have several opportunities to receive funding during a fiscal year. NRCS accepts applications on a continual basis, and applications received after a batching date will automatically be considered during future funding cycles.

“We think this new arrangement will be popular with our producers and conservation partners in Virginia,” said Dr. Edwin Martinez Martinez, NRCS’ state conservationist.  “Their commitment and continued efforts to support conservation – and their trust in NRCS Farm Bill programs – always amplifies everything we do.”

Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)

CSP is the nation’s largest conservation program in terms of the number of acres enrolled and is designed to help agricultural producers have more robust conservation activities.

Using CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for actively managing, maintaining and expanding conservation activities including cover crops, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips and pollinator and beneficial insect habitat – all while maintaining active agricultural or forest production on their land. CSP also encourages the adoption of new technologies and new management techniques, such as irrigation monitoring, precision agriculture applications, improved grazing systems, on-site carbon storage and planting for high carbon sequestration rate and new soil amendments to improve water quality.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP)

EQIP is NRCS’ flagship conservation program that helps farmers, ranchers and forest landowners integrate conservation into working lands.

EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to address natural resource concerns and to deliver environmental benefits, such as improved water and air quality, conservation of ground and surface water, reduced soil erosion and sedimentation, improved soil health and plant condition and improved or created wildlife habitat.


Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP)

RCPP is a partner-driven approach to conservation that funds solutions to natural resource challenges on agricultural land. 

By leveraging collective resources and collaborating on common goals, RCPP demonstrates the power of public-private partnerships in delivering results for agriculture and conservation.

RCPP projects fall under two different categories:  RCPP Classic and RCPP Grants. RCPP Classic projects are implemented using NRCS contracts and easements with producers, landowners and communities in collaboration with project partners. In RCPP Grants, the lead partner must work directly with agricultural producers to support the development of new conservation structures and approaches that would not otherwise be available under RCPP Classic.


How to Apply

Applications can be submitted at local USDA offices. Each applicant must establish themselves as a USDA customer and obtain all Farm Service Agency (FSA) eligibility requirements by Dec. 8, 2023. Please note, Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) determination takes an average three weeks to be processed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is highly recommended that applicants submit their completed AGI form to FSA several weeks prior to the FSA eligibility determination deadline of Dec. 8, 2023. Submitting your AGI form to FSA on the last day of the application period will result in your AGI eligibility not being met by the deadline for Fiscal Year 2024.

Although applications are accepted on a year-round basis, eligible applicants interested in CSP, EQIP or RCPP must first submit their application to their local service center by Oct. 13, 2023, and then submit all of the following eligibility determinations to FSA by Dec. 8, 2023:

  • Highly erodible lands and wetland determination (AD 1026)
  • Adjusted Gross Income form (CCC 941)
  • Farm and track eligibility determination
  • Farm operating plan (CCC 902)

NRCS will conduct an assessment and rank all eligible applications received by the batching date. NRCS will fund applications in ranking order as funding allows.

More information

For more information about NRCS programs and assistance, visit the or contact the NRCS service office serving your area of the state.