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News Release

USDA announces April 30th ranking date for Conservation Stewardship Program

Contact:
Diane Petit, Public Affairs Officer
413-253-4371


Conservation Stewardship Program

AMHERST, Mass., March 4, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced that April 30th will be the cut-off date for applications for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) to be considered and ranked for 2021 funding.

CSP helps agricultural producers take the conservation activities on their farm to the next level. It provides a payment for maintaining the current conservation efforts on the land and covers part of the cost for producers implementing new conservation activities.

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, nonindustrial private forest land and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of a tribe.

While applications are accepted throughout the year, interested producers should submit applications to their local NRCS office by April 30, 2021, to ensure their applications are considered for 2021 funding.

“CSP continues to be a very effective tool for private landowners working to achieve their conservation and management goals,” said Dan Wright, NRCS Massachusetts 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.”

Higher payment rates are available for certain conservation activities, including resource conserving crop rotations and advanced grazing management. CSP provides specific support for organic and transitioning to organic production activities.

For more information and to apply, contact your local USDA-NRCS office:

  • Greenfield field office – 413-772-0384, ext 3, serving Franklin County
  • Hadley field office – 413-585-1000, ext 3, serving Hampden and Hampshire counties
  • Holden field office – 508-829-4477, ext 3, serving Worcester County
  • Pittsfield field office – 413-443-1776, ext 3, serving Berkshire County
  • Westford field office – 978-692-1904, ext 3, serving Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk counties
  • Wareham field office – 508-295-5151, ext 2, serving Bristol, Norfolk and Plymouth counties
  • West Yarmouth field office – 508-771-6476, serving Cape Cod and the Islands

NRCS is a federal agency that works hand-in-hand with the people of Massachusetts to improve and protect soil, water and other natural resources. The agency works with local conservation districts and other partners to serve farmers and landowners in the Bay State and across the United States.