GAINESVILLE — The application deadline for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is March 26 for fiscal year 2021.
Through CSP, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service helps agricultural producers 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.
Changes in the 2018 Farm Bill authorizes NRCS to accept new CSP enrollments from now until 2023, and it makes some improvements to the program. These updates include:
• NRCS now enrolls eligible applications based on dollars rather than acres. For fiscal 2021, NRCS in Florida can spend up to $3 million in the program, which covers part of the cost for producers implementing new conservation activities and maintaining their existing activities in all eligible land such as, private and tribal agricultural lands, cropland, rangeland, pastureland, private non-industrial private forestland (NIPF), farmstead and Associated Ag Land.
• Higher payment rates are now available for certain conservation activities, including cover crops and resource conserving crop rotations.
• The annual payment limitation of $40,000 no longer applies.
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 USDA service center at: https://www.farmers.gov/service-center-locator