The Conservation Stewardship Program signup period is officially OPEN until March 31THE BASICS:
- Farmers and ranchers need to visit their local NRCS office for step 1 in the application process BEFORE MARCH 31. This part is relatively easy (takes only moments in the office). Remember, CSP is competitive, and enrollment is limited.
- The March 31 date also applies to RENEWALS. Folks who signed up in 2012 need to RENEW their contracts this year if they want to stay in the program! A linked document (see below) shows you how many contracts / acres are expiring in your state this year.
- Thanks to the National Sustainable Agriculture Network's (NSAC's) work protecting CSP's funding last year, ~2,000 more farmers can sign up for the program this year - and up to 20 million new acres can be enrolled!
- NRCS has also BOOSTED the minimum contract payment to $1,500 - which may make the program pencil out financially for smaller, high-value or diversified operations! (I'm looking at you, New England) It's a great year for those folks to take a fresh look at the opportunity.
- As always, NSAC has prepared a blog post and Information Alert that go over the basics of the opportunity. The Info Alert gets into deep specifics for producers on the kinds of practices that CSP rewards. See below for more resources.
- NSAC blog post from today: http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/csp-2016-signup/
- NSAC CSP Information Alert for 2016: linked via blog post above
- NSAC Farmers' Guide to CSP: linked via blog post above
- NSAC press release: http://sustainableagriculture.net/blog/release-csp-sign-up-for-2016