Conservation Stewardship Program- Rule Change Helps Producers Implement More Conservation Activities

A news release today from the USDA’s National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) stated that, “[USDA] today released the final rule for its Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). The rule makes updates to the popular conservation program as directed by the 2018 Farm Bill and integrates feedback from agricultural producers and others.

“CSP is offered in all 50 states and the Pacific and Caribbean areas through continuous signups. The program provides many benefits, including increased crop yields, decreased inputs, wildlife habitat improvements, and increased resilience to adverse weather. CSP is for working lands, including cropland, pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest land, and agricultural land under Indian tribe jurisdiction.

“‘NRCS has prioritized the implementation of the 2018 Farm Bill, including important changes to the Conservation Stewardship Program, which is designed to help farmers put more robust conservation activities in place,’ said Kevin Norton, acting Chief of [the NRCS].”

Today’s update added that, “The final rule better aligns CSP with NRCS’s Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) through common applications, contracting operations, conservation planning, conservation practices, and related administrative procedures. EQIP is a voluntary conservation program that helps promote agricultural production and environmental quality by providing producers financial and technical assistance to implement structural and management conservation practices on working agricultural lands.”

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