USDA Announces Sign-Up Period for Updated Conservation Stewardship Program
Deadline to be considered for funding is May 10, 2019.

NASHVILLE, April 8, 2019 – The next deadline for Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP)
applications to be considered for funding in fiscal year (FY) 2019 is May 10, 2019. USDA’s Natural
Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) plans to invest up to $700 million for new enrollments and
contract extensions in fiscal year 2019. The 2018 Farm Bill made several changes to this critical
conservation program, which helps agricultural producers take the conservation activities on their
farm or ranch to the next level.

“CSP continues to be a very effective tool for private landowners working to achieve their
conservation and management goals,” said Sheldon Hightower, Tennessee NRCS State Conservationist.
“It is the largest conservation program in the United States with more than 70 million acres of
productive agricultural and forest land enrolled.”

While applications are accepted throughout the year, interested producers should submit
applications to their local NRCS office by May 10, 2019, to ensure their applications are
considered for 2019 funding.

Changes to the Program
The 2018 Farm Bill authorizes NRCS to accept new CSP enrollments from now until 2023, and it makes
some important improvements to the program. These updates include:

• NRCS now enrolls eligible, high ranking applications based on dollars rather than acres. For
fiscal year 2019, NRCS can spend up to $700 million in the program, which covers part of the cost
for producers implementing new conservation activities and maintaining their existing activities.

• Higher payment rates are now available for certain conservation activities, including cover crops
and resource conserving crop rotations.

• CSP now provides specific support for organic and for transitioning to organic production
activities and a special grassland conservation initiative for certain producers who have
maintained cropland base acres.

About the Program
CSP is offered in Tennessee through continuous sign-ups. The program provides many benefits
including increased crop yields, decreased inputs, wildlife habitat improvements and increased
resilience to weather extremes. CSP is for working lands including cropland, pastureland,
rangeland, nonindustrial private forest land and agricultural land under the jurisdiction of a

More Information
For additional information about CSP, contact the USDA service center located at 647 Bright Hill
Road in Smithville or call 615-597-8226 x3.


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USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.