LITTLE ROCK, Ark., May 8, 2020 – The deadline for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Classic applications to be considered for funding in fiscal year 2020 is June 12, 2020.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) plans to invest up to $725 million for new enrollments, contract extensions, and renewals in fiscal year 2020. The 2018 Farm Bill made several changes to this critical conservation program, which helps agricultural producers take the conservation activities on their farm or ranch to the next level.
“CSP continues to be a very effective tool for private landowners working to achieve their conservation and management goals,” said Mike Sullivan, Arkansas NRCS state conservationist. “It is the largest conservation program in the United States with more than 70 million acres of productive agricultural and forest land enrolled.”
While applications are accepted throughout the year, interested producers in Arkansas should submit applications to their local NRCS office by June 12, 2020, to ensure their applications are considered for 2020 funding.
CSP is offered through continuous sign-ups. The program provides many benefits including increased crop yields, decreased inputs, wildlife habitat improvements and increased resilience to weather extremes, as well as specific support for organic and for transitioning to organic production activities. CSP is for working lands including cropland, pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest land and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of a tribe.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) field offices in Arkansas are open by phone appointment only until further notice, and NRCS staff are available to continue to provide one-on-one, customer-specific advice to producers to help them meet their unique conservation and business goals.
All USDA Service Centers, including those with NRCS field offices, are not currently accessible to customers in person.
NRCS staff are working with customers through phone, mail and online communications, and field work continues with appropriate social distancing to help producers with conservation planning and financial assistance through Farm Bill programs.
Online services are available to customers with an eAuth account, which provides access to the farmers.gov portal where producers can view USDA farm loan information and payments and view and track certain USDA program applications and payments. Customers who do not already have an eAuth account can enroll at farmers.gov/sign-in. Online NRCS services are available to customers through the Conservation Client Gateway link which can be found at www.nrcs.usda.gov. Customers can track payments, report completed practices, request conservation assistance and electronically sign documents.