WASHINGTON — Acting Deputy Agriculture Secretary Michael Young announced that a contract renewal sign-up is underway for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), USDA’s largest working lands conservation program with more than 80 million acres enrolled nationally. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) made several updates to the program last fall. These changes help producers better evaluate conservation options that benefit their operations while improving the health and productivity of private and Tribal working lands. Participants with existing CSP contracts that will expire Dec. 31 can take advantage of the recent program changes by renewing their contracts for an additional five years if they agree to adopt additional conservation activities. Applications to renew expiring contracts are due by May 5.
Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners earn payments for managing, maintaining and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, buffer strips, pollinator and beneficial insect habitat and soil health building activities – while maintaining agricultural production on their land. Benefits to producers can include improved cattle gains per acre, increased crop yields, decreased inputs, wildlife population improvements and better resilience to weather extremes.
—USDA NRCS Florida
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