WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Bob Casey, D-Pa., encouraged Pennsylvania’s farmers to sign up for the Conservation Stewardship Program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Interested producers must complete an initial, short application by Friday in order to participate in the current annual funding cycle.
“I encourage all Pennsylvania farmers, whether you own the land you’re farming or you rent it, to apply for Conservation Stewardship Program funding,” said Sen. Casey. “CSP can help you implement conservation practices that will benefit the Commonwealth’s land, air and water, while helping you boost your bottom lines by improving yields and reducing inputs.”
The Conservation Stewardship Program is the largest federal program dedicated to promoting conservation practices on working lands. Participating producers receive a payment from USDA based on the practices they volunteer to implement. There are a wide array of practices funded through CSP, including:
- Improved management of grazing for improved habitat
- Building riparian buffers to improve water quality
- Planting cover crops to reduce erosion and improve soil health
Importantly, this year’s signup includes a number of important improvements to the program that were made in the 2018 Farm Bill, which Sen. Casey helped craft. Producers who participate in this funding cycle are eligible to reimbursed at 125 percent of the otherwise determined payment rate for cover crops, and at 150 percent of the payment rate for resource conserving crop rotations. This is a significant change that will help get climate-friendly practices that boost soil health on the ground.
Interested producers must complete an initial application form with their local USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service by May 10.
— U.S. Sen. Bob Casey