April 11, 2017
At the end of this year, more than 9.5 million acres currently enrolled in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) are at risk of expiring if they are not renewed by May 5.
CSP provides comprehensive conservation assistance to farmers to protect and improve natural resources on their agricultural land. This assistance comes in the form of a 5-year contract, which farmers have the option to renew for another five years upon the fifth and final year of their contract.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) recently announced May 5, 2017 would be the renewal deadline for the 7,000 farmers, ranchers, and foresters who enrolled in CSP in 2013. If not renewed, five-year contracts will expire on December 31 of this year.
To support farmers in navigating the renewals process, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) has updated our CSP Information Alert to include a step-by-step guidance for renewing expiring contracts.
NSAC’s Information Alert walks farmers through the process of a renewing their expiring contracts, and it also includes detailed information on the recent CSP “reinvention,” which introduced major updates to the program’s structure and available enhancements. This information is particularly relevant for farmers eligible for the 2017 renewal as the program will look significantly different from when they originally enrolled in 2013.
All expiring contracts can be renewed assuming eligibility. In order to be considered eligible for renewal, farmers must: (1) prove to be in compliance with the initial five-year contract, (2) adopt at least one new enhancement, and (3) demonstrate that during the new contract term, they will be able to meet or exceed the stewardship threshold on at least five priority resource concerns (two more than was required during the initial contract).
In our updated Information Alert, we detail the streamlined renewal application process, which begins with an assessment of eligibility. Once deemed eligible, farmers will then work directly with NRCS to establish a stewardship plan to support their new contract and conservation practices.
The CSP renewal process is relatively easy and straightforward, and it is a win-win for farmers and for the continued enhancement of natural resources. It ensures farmers a seamless transition to their next contract without any gaps in CSP payments, all while increasing the level of stewardship on their land and surrounding resources.
NSAC is pleased to offer our Information Alert as a free resource to ensure that American farmers have the information they need to renew their expiring contracts before the May 5 deadline.
Categories: Conservation, Energy & Environment, Grants and Programs