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News Release

USDA Announces May 7 Application Cutoff for CSP Classic / Organic opportunity

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, April 1, 2021 – The next deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) applications to be considered for funding this year is May 7, 2021. Organic operations should take a look at CSP as PA NRCS received funds designated for an Organic category of this program.

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. Benefits may include increased crop yields, decreased inputs, wildlife habitat improvements and increased resilience to weather extremes.

“CSP provides an opportunity to reward our best stewards of the land while encouraging them to further enhance conservation on the lands they control,” said Ashley Lenig, Conservation Program Manager. 

The 2018 Farm Bill authorized NRCS to accept new CSP enrollments until 2023 and included the following updates to the program.

  • 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 2021 funding.

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 schedule a phone appointment. More information can be found at farmers.gov/coronavirus