The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending the deadline to Nov. 8 for eligible farmers and ranchers to enroll in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Grassland Conservation Initiative, which was created by the 2018 Farm Bill. The original deadline to sign up for CSP Grassland Conservation Initiative was Oct. 25.
This program is available to farmers and ranchers with base acreage that has been in grass or grasslands over a nine-year period, rather than planted with commodity crops.
Eligible farmers and ranchers received letters from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) earlier this year, which included information on how to apply through field offices of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
When enrolling in the CSP Grassland Conservation Initiative, farmers and ranchers must meet or exceed the stewardship threshold for one priority resource concern by the end of their five-year contract. Farmers and ranchers receive $18 per acre per year for the next five years.
This initiative has different rules than the rest of CSP and is administered separately.
Eligible producers who apply are accepted into the initiative. There is no ranking period, and CSP payment limitations do not apply.
Eligible operations have base acres, which are lands where farmers have historically grown commodity crops, where crops have not been grown from Jan. 1, 2009, through Dec. 31, 2017, and the land has returned to grass or grasslands. Formerly, these farmers would have been available for assistance through the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs administered by FSA. Now, this assistance is made available through the CSP Grassland Conservation Initiative.
For more information on the CSP Grassland Conservation Initiative sign up period, contact your local NRCS field office.