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News Release

USDA Extending Deadline for the Conservation Stewardship Program Grassland Conservation Initiative

Sharonté Williams

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending the deadline to November 8, 2019 for eligible agricultural producers to enroll in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Grassland Conservation Initiative, which was created by the 2018 Farm Bill.  The original deadline was October 25, 2019.  Eligible producers received letters from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) earlier this year, which included information on how to apply through the field offices of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). 

Eligible operations have base acres, which are lands where producers have historically grown commodity crops, but where crops have not been grown from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2017, and the land has returned to grass or grasslands.  Formerly, these producers would have been eligible for assistance through the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Programs administered by FSA.  This assistance is now made available through the CSP Grassland Conservation Initiative. 

When enrolling in the CSP Grassland Conservation Initiative, producers must meet or exceed the stewardship threshold for one priority resource concern by the end of the five-year contract period.  Producers receive $18 per base acre per year over the five-year term of the contract.  This initiative has different rules than the rest of CSP and is administered separately.  There is no ranking period and CSP payment limitations do not apply.  For more information, contact your local NRCS field office.