January 29, 2015
***NRCS Has Extended the CSP Sign Up Deadline from February 27 to March 13!
Farmers and ranchers interested in enrolling in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) this year
have until February 27 March 13 to submit their initial applications to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). You can sign up anytime throughout the year for CSP, but if you miss the February 27 cut-off, then your application will not be considered until 2016.
If you are applying as an entity (i.e. a business, not an individual), then you must have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number, which you can easily obtain for free online. In order to be able to receive CSP payments, you must also be registered with the System for Award Management (SAM). If you are applying as an individual and use your social security number as your Employer Identification Number (EIN), then you do not need to obtain a DUNS number or register with SAM.
More Information Coming Soon!
NRCS has not yet published to their website or released to the public the updated information for the FY 2015 sign up, such as which enhancements are available to choose from or their corresponding environmental benefit scores. As soon as NSAC receives this information from NRCS, we will issue an Information Alert with full details on the program for FY 2015. We will also publish a Farmer’s Guide to CSP, with comprehensive information on the application process, program details, and enrollment data since 2009. Stay tuned! But in the meantime, you can still head into your local NRCS office to get the process started.
2011 Contracts Up for Renewal
If you received a CSP contract in 2011, then it is time for you to act too! You should be receiving a letter from your local NRCS office very soon about the opportunity to renew your contract for another five-year period. Renewal applications must be received by March 31 to ensure a seamless transition into your next contract without a lapse in payments.
About the Conservation Stewardship Program
CSP is an innovative working lands conservation program that rewards farmers and ranchers for the conservation and environmental benefits they produce. Since the program began in 2009, nearly 70 million acres of farm and ranch land have been enrolled in the program
CSP is a competitive program that aims to achieve environmental benefits by scoring and then financially rewarding CSP applicants with the highest conservation performance outcomes, based on current and planned future conservation activities. First you apply to see if you are eligible, then NRCS scores your current performance and future plans. If you already meet acceptable conservation levels, then you compete in a ranking process that determines who will receive contracts. Contracts are awarded to those offering the highest level of environmental benefits, with NRCS working down through the list of eligible applicants until acreage allocated to the particular state for that particular year runs out. At the national level in most years approximately twice as many farmers apply as get into the program in a given year, though there is some variation by state to that two to one ratio.
Not sure CSP is for you? Fill out NRCS’ Self-Screening Checklist to help determine if you are eligible for the program.