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News Release

USDA Extends Application Cutoff for CSP in Georgia until June 30

Release No.: 20.20

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ATHENS, GA, May 11, 2020 – The cutoff period for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) applications to be considered for funding this year has been extended until June 30. 

Through CSP, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) helps farmers, ranchers and forest landowners earn payments for expanding conservation activities while maintaining agricultural production on their land. CSP also encourages adoption of new technologies and management techniques.

The previously announced cutoff had been set for May 29, 2020, but this extension allows more time for new applicants and producers who were previously enrolled in CSP and did not have their renewal application approved, due to limited funds, a chance to compete for funding through the CSP Classic sign up process.

“We know private landowners are working hard to achieve their conservation and management goals through CSP,” said Terrance O. Rudolph, NRCS state conservationist in Georgia. “We want to give them every opportunity to participate in the largest conservation program in the United States that has more than 70 million acres of productive agricultural and forest land enrolled.”  

Changes in the 2018 Farm Bill authorize NRCS to accept new CSP enrollments from now until 2023 and makes some improvements to the program. These updates include:

  • NRCS now enrolls eligible, high-ranking applications based on dollars rather than acres.
  • Higher payment rates are now available under the 2018 Farm Bill for certain conservation activities, including cover crops and resource conserving crop rotations. 
  • Provides specific support for organic and for transitioning to organic production activities and a special grassland conservation initiative for certain producers who have maintained cropland base acres.

While applications are accepted throughout the year, interested producers should submit applications to their local NRCS office by the deadline to ensure their applications are considered for 2020 funding.

About the Program

CSP is offered in Georgia through continuous signups. The program provides many benefits including increased crop yields, decreased inputs, wildlife habitat improvements and increased resilience to weather extremes. CSP is for working lands including cropland, pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest land and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of a tribe.  

For additional information about CSP, contact your local service center. USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only and field work will continue with appropriate social distancing. While program delivery staff will continue to come into the office, they will be working with producers by phone, and using online tools whenever possible. All Service Center visitors wishing to conduct business with NRCS, Farm Service Agency, or any other Service Center agency are required to call their Service Center to schedule a phone appointment. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at How to File a Program Discrimination Complaint and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; (2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: program.intake@usda.gov.