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News Release

DEADLINE EXTENDED TO APRIL 7, 2021 | USDA Offers CSP Participants Renewal Options for Contracts Set to Close

Release No.: 012.21

Printable Version

Athens, GA, March 12, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that it is accepting Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) renewal applications through March 31 for over 11,000 contracts set to end this year. CSP is USDA’s largest working lands conservation program with more than 90 million acres enrolled. 

“In fiscal year 2020, NRCS helped enhance more than 120,000 acres of land enrolled in CSP in Georgia,” said Terrance O. Rudolph, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) state conservationist. “CSP continues to prove its worth by helping farmers and ranchers advance their business operations through conservation enhancements on their land that sustain the natural resources that improve productivity and their bottom lines.”

Participants with existing CSP contracts that close on December 31, 2021, can benefit from recent program changes by renewing their contracts for an additional five years if they agree to adopt additional conservation practices on their land. Applications to renew expiring contracts are due by March 31.

About the Program

CSP is for working lands, including cropland, pastureland, rangeland, non-industrial forestland as well as tribal lands. The program helps producers build on existing conservation efforts while strengthening their operations. CSP provides many benefits, including increased crop yields, decreased inputs, wildlife habitat improvements and resiliency to weather extremes. It also encourages the adoption of new technologies and innovative management techniques.

Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for actively managing, maintaining and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, buffer strips, pollinator and beneficial insect habitat and soil health activities while maintaining active agricultural production on their land.

Changes in the 2018 Farm Bill authorize NRCS to accept new CSP enrollments through 2023 and make additional improvements to the program, including higher payment rates for specific conservation activities on working lands.

More Information

Producers interested in contract renewals or applying for CSP for the first time should visit the CSP webpage or  contact their local USDA service center.

While USDA offices are currently closed to visitors because of the pandemic, Service Center staff continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools. To conduct business, please contact your local USDA Service Center. Additionally, more information related to USDA’s response and relief for producers 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.