Conservation Stewardship Program sign-up ends Feb. 3 |

Conservation Stewardship Program sign-up ends Feb. 3

NATURAL RESOURCES CONSERVATION SERVICE HURON, SD. January 13, 2017 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has been accepting and processing applications since November for enrollment in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), the nation’s largest conservation program.

NRCS has made several updates to the program this year to help producers better evaluate their conservation options and the benefits to their operations and natural resources. New methods and software for evaluating applications will help producers see up front why they are or are not meeting stewardship thresholds, and allow them to pick practices and enhancements that work for their conservation objectives. These new tools also allow producers to see potential payment scenarios for conservation early in the process.

While applications are continuously accepted, the deadline for signing an application for consideration in Fiscal Year 2017 is Friday, February 3, 2017. People interested in the additional opportunities the updated CSP will offer can find information on the new CSP portal, located at This one-stop shop, which provides information to help producers determine whether CSP is right for them, will be continually updated as more information becomes available. Changes that producers can expect to see include nearly double the enhancements and conservation practices offered and better reporting tools to tell producers the results of their conservation efforts on their land.

In South Dakota alone, more than 6.8 million acres are actively enrolled in CSP. “This program provides farming and ranching operations financial assistance to implement conservation activities on their farms and ranches,” explains Jessica Michalski, SD CSP Coordinator. “Since this program began in 2010, these activities have been shown to increase sustainability and productivity of SD agricultural operations while improving our state’s soil health, water quality, wildlife habitat, and other important natural resources.”

Producers interested in the CSP should visit their local USDA Service Center to submit an application.


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